What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and why is it so important?

Have you heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? If not, it is probably because it sounds pretty boring. However, it is really important, especially so if you're currently advertising to, or based in, Europe.

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The GDPR is a piece of European Union (EU) legislation and it will in fact have an impact on the biggest tech firms in the world, this includes Facebook and Google!

What exactly is the GDPR?

In April 2016, the GDPR legislation was approved, giving European authorities two years (until May 25, 2018) to comply. The general aim is to regulate data protection across all EU countries and bring out new, strict rules when it comes to data collecting, processing and controlling. Although it is used to standardise the laws in EU, it will also affect businesses across the globe who offer goods and services to the country.

What are the key policies of GDPR?

The main focus of GDPR is to ensure that the conditions of consent that companies use are no longer really confusing and vague for those who read them. Data consent will also be easy to remove. For people under the age of 16, their parent, or whoever has parental responsibility will have to opt-in to agree on data collection on their behalf.

So, basically the GDPR is going to give consumers a lot more control over their personal data. You will be able to access any of your data being stored by companies and find out that they are actually using it for. Would you like your personal data to be forgotten by that company? You can even ask them to delete it completely and stop any other third parties from using it.

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What happens if you don’t stick to the rules?

Yes, there will be punishments if companies break the rules, and they will be quite big ones! Complying with the laws is crucial, so if there is a breach of the GDPR laws, can be charged up to 4% of their annual global turnover or up to 20 million Euros! Although, the worst fines will be kept aside for the worst data breaches or abuse.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data law that is definitely going to shake up all companies across Europe, as well as many around the world. Make sure you take the important steps and stick to the rules to avoid potentially serious fines.

The Computer Guyz are a reliable, affordable IT company based in Cape Town and Pretoria. Call 021 110 0422 or email contact@tcgcape.co.za for the best IT services, sales and support!


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