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The General Data Protection Regulation was first proposed in 2012, and what followed was four years of discussions, debates, and amendments, with the regulation finally adopted by the European Parliament in 2016. Countries, companies, and organisations were given two years to comply, with the regulation being enforced from 25 May 2018. What originally seemed like a reasonable amount of time to prepare has passed quickly, and at the time of this writing, enforcement of the GDPR is barely 5-months away.

Much has already been written and discussed in the public domain regarding the GDPR, but still, many business owners are a little unsure of what the GDPR entails, and whether or not they are affected. With this article I hope to add some clarity, explaining what the General Data Protection Regulation is, which businesses it affects – and how – along with answers to some common questions frequently asked about the GDPR, and some steps you can take to move your business towards compliance.

In Plain English: Everything You Need to Know About the GDPR

We’ve seen how technology is disrupting industries both old and new: Uber and Lyft are disrupting transport, Netflix is disrupting how movies and TV shows are produced and consumed, and AI is threatening to disrupt every single industry in ways we never before thought possible. But technology also disrupts the laws and regulations implemented by countries, with the GDPR designed to replace a modern directive that itself was no longer sufficient: Directive 95/46/EC (a data protection directive).

The General Data Protection Regulation is, obviously, centred around data protection, but it doesn’t regulate all data protection. Instead, it is focused on the personal data of individuals, specifically individuals residing in any EU member state. It updates existing – and introduces new – regulations relating to the collection and processing of the personal data of any individual residing in any EU member state. And it doesn’t only apply to businesses and organisations with a physical presence in any EU member state. Businesses and organisations throughout the world will need to be compliant with the GDPR if they collect and process the personal data of any individuals residing in the EU.



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