The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection law that was implemented in the European Union (EU) in May 2018. Its primary objective is to provide individuals with greater control over their personal data and harmonize data protection regulations across the EU member states. GDPR applies to both EU-based organizations and non-EU organizations that process the personal data of individuals residing in the EU. It has extraterritorial reach, meaning that even if a company is located outside the EU, if it offers goods or services to EU residents or monitors their behavior, it must comply with GDPR.
GDPR places significant responsibilities on organizations that collect and process personal data. It requires organizations to obtain explicit consent from individuals for data collection, use, and processing activities. It also grants individuals the right to access their data, correct inaccuracies, and request its deletion. Organizations must implement appropriate security measures to safeguard personal data and promptly report data breaches to the supervisory authorities.
Non-compliance with GDPR can result in substantial fines. The regulation imposes two tiers of fines depending on the nature and severity of the violation. The first tier can reach up to €10 million or 2% of the organization's global annual turnover, whichever is higher. The second tier can go up to €20 million or 4% of the global annual turnover, again depending on the specific violation. These fines can have a significant financial impact on organizations and serve as a strong deterrent to ensure compliance with the regulation.
GDPR also affects global companies that store and process data in the cloud. Cloud service providers and organizations that utilize cloud services must ensure that the cloud infrastructure meets the security and privacy requirements mandated by GDPR. Companies need to assess the jurisdiction in which their data is stored and transferred, as transferring data to countries with inadequate data protection regulations may violate GDPR. Organizations must carefully choose cloud providers that offer appropriate safeguards, such as data encryption, access controls, and data breach notification mechanisms. Additionally, contractual agreements with cloud providers must include provisions that comply with GDPR requirements to protect the personal data of individuals.