The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data privacy regulation established by the European Union. Enforced since May 25, 2018, the GDPR provides a framework for the lawful and transparent processing of personal data. It grants individuals control over their data, emphasizing consent and data subject rights. GDPR compliance is mandatory for entities handling the personal data of EU residents.

Key elements of GDPR include:

  • Expanded Rights for Individuals: GDPR grants individuals greater control over their personal data, including the right to access and rectify, and erase their data. It also introduces the right for individuals to opt out of specific or complete aspects of personal data processing e.g. direct marketing, targeted advertising, etc.
  • Consent Requirements: Organizations must obtain clear and explicit consent from individuals before collecting or processing their personal data. Consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and revocable.
  • Data Breach Notification: Organizations are required to report data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority without undue delay and, in some cases, notify affected individuals when the breach poses a high risk to their rights and freedoms.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs): Organizations must conduct DPIAs for processing operations that are likely to result in a high risk to individuals' rights and freedoms. This involves assessing and mitigating the potential impact of data processing on privacy.
  • Appointment of Data Protection Officers (DPOs): Some organizations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer to oversee GDPR compliance, especially if they engage in large-scale processing of sensitive data.
  • Accountability and Documentation: GDPR emphasizes the principle of accountability, requiring organizations to demonstrate compliance through documentation, policies, and procedures. Data controllers must be able to show how they comply with the regulation.
  • Cross-Border Data Transfers: GDPR includes provisions for the transfer of personal data outside the EU, ensuring that the same level of protection is maintained when data is transferred to countries or international organizations.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance: GDPR imposes severe penalties for non-compliance, including fines of up to 4% of the annual global turnover of an organization or €20 million, whichever is higher.

Overall, GDPR represents a significant shift in the way organizations handle and protect personal data, placing a strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, and individual rights. It has had a global impact, influencing data protection practices beyond the borders of the European Union.

In anticipation of the entry into force of the GDPR, IAB Europe launched in February 2017 a collaborative effort by organizing dedicated working groups attended by more than 70 member companies and sectoral trade associations, supported by the IAB Europe staff, to deliver, maintain and iterate an industry standard, the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), in an attempt to meet the needs of users, industry and regulators. Read more on TCF.

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Last Updated on: 20 Dec, 2023