General Data Protection Regulation

What Does General Data Protection Regulation Mean?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Commission regulation for the protection of data in the European Union. This regulation also regulates the flow of personal data outside the EU. Its main objective is to protect the privacy of citizens of the EU and unify the data regulation rules of the EU’s member nations. Its rules will also apply to the police and military procedures of the members.


The GDPR will replace the Data Protection Directive, which was implemented in 1995. The GDPR was adopted on April 27, 2016, and is planned to be implemented on May 25, 2018. The two-year gap will allow any transitions to the regulation.

Techopedia Explains General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation will extend the reach of the existing data protection regulations to all those countries which use the personal data of EU citizens. This also applies to foreign countries using the data of EU countries. The data protection laws all over the EU countries will be merged, allowing easier and more efficient data protection and more compliance.

However, the regulation has been made even stricter than originally planned, and as much as four percent of the turnover is penalized in case of non-compliance. Initially, this was five percent, but it was reduced after negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission. While this law will be very beneficial for citizens, it will also face many challenges upon implementation. The biggest challenge will be for businesses to update their practices according to the regulations.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…