Europe's New Privacy Laws (GDPR) Affect You, Too: Here's How

The GDPR is an extremely hot topic right now, and it certainly should be. This is the biggest change in data protection laws that we’ve seen in years. Although this is a European initiative, companies in the United States will still be affected by the shift in data protection laws.

 

What is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

 

The first hurdle is understanding what these regulations really are. Here’s a breakdown of what the GDPR is doing with data:

  • The GDPR is intended to allow European citizens more control over their personal data. This levels the playing field for both citizens and businesses to reap the benefits of the digital economy.

  • The terms of the GDPR include: those who handle and analyze consumer personal data - controllers and processors - are required by law to ensure protection from misuse or exploitation of the collected data. If these terms are not upheld, companies face major penalties.

  • Companies will experience significantly more legal liability if the data the company controls is hacked or breached. This will hold European companies to a higher standard of guaranteeing consumer protection.
     

How Does GDPR Affect You?

 

GDPR will impact both U.S. citizens and U.S. companies. Companies that reach international markets, specifically in Europe, will be held to the same standard of data protection that the GDPR outlines. U.S. companies that comply with GDPR for European citizens also provides their U.S. consumers with the same level of data protection. Additionally, U.S. Citizens using European companies and submitting data will now be better protected from hacks and breaches overseas.

 

The GDPR is overall an initiative that will help control data misuse. We may see a shift toward the GDPR in more countries and continents in the near future. Being mindful of where your data is and how it’s being analyzed and protected is smart for not only your personal records but also for your overall safety. This stride to better protect you and your data is all-in-all a step in the right direction.