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In 2016, the European Commission replaced its long-existing Data Protection Directive with a modernised version, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR is based on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights that considers the protection of personal data an individual’s fundamental human right.
The objective of the GDPR is to ensure the protection of personal information through a human rights centric approach and allow secure transfer of personal information within and across jurisdictions. At present, the GDPR is considered to be one of the best global practices in relation to data protection and privacy legal landscape.
The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals. However, each right has its limitations with respect to circumstances under which it will not be exercised. For example, any “manifestly unfounded or excessive” request of a data subject may be refused to be exercised by the controller, in particular, because of its repetitive character.
Individuals have the right to be informed about the collection and use of their personal data. This includes information to be provided in “a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language” to data subjects.
Consumers have the right to access their personal data withheld by an organization, to be informed of appropriate safeguards relating to transfer of their personal data, and to obtain a copy of their personal data.
The GDPR includes a right for individuals to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete.
This right entails that the controller erases personal data without undue delay upon a data subject’s request. The right to erasure is also known as ‘the right to be forgotten’.
Individuals have the right to request the restriction or suppression of their personal data. As per Article 18 of the GDPR, data subjects must be informed before any such restriction is lifted.
The right to data portability allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. It allows data subjects to move, copy or transfer their personal data easily from one IT environment i.e. from one controller to another in a safe and secure way, without affecting its usability. The right to data portability may not be exercised where it is not technically feasible to do so.
The GDPR gives individuals the right to object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances. There exists an absolute right to object to data being processed for direct marketing purposes.
Article 22 of the GDPR allows right not to be subject to decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling that has legal or similarly significant effects on data subjects.
The General Data Protection Regulation is not specific to the European Union, but applies to any organisation operating within or outside the EU which offers goods and services to customers or businesses in the EU.
If we dive into the specifics, there are two different types of data-handlers this legislation applies to, known as the 'processors' and 'controllers'. The exact definitions of each are laid out in Article 4 of the GDPR
“A person, public authority, agency or other body which alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of processing of personal data”
“A person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller”
For non-serious infringements, fines can go up to €10 million, or 2% of the firm’s worldwide annual revenue from the preceding financial year, whichever amount is higher. This includes violations of articles governing:
For Serious infringements fines can go up to €20 million, or 4% of the firm’s worldwide annual revenue from the preceding financial year, whichever amount is higher. This includes violations of articles governing:
Information that relates to an individual who can be directly or indirectly identified. This includes names, email addresses, location information, ethnicity, gender, biometric data, religious beliefs, web cookies, and political opinions. Pseudonymous Data can also fall under the definition if it is possible to ID someone from it.
Any action performed on data, whether automated or manual. This can include collecting, recording, organizing, structuring, storing, using and erasing data.
The person whose data is processed. These can be your customers or visitors on your site.
A person, public authority, agency or other body which alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of processing of personal data.
A person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.
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The GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation
The GDPR went into effect on May 25, 2018
Penalties for non-compliance can go up to €20 million, or 4% of the firm’s worldwide annual revenue
The GDPR gives eight fundamental rights to the consumer which include:
According to the GDPR enforcement tracker, from July 2019 till date, the total GDPR fines that have been paid globally is €436,948,087
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