The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection and privacy regulation enacted by the European Union (EU) in 2018. It is designed to safeguard the privacy and personal data of EU citizens by regulating how organisations collect, process, store, and share this information. The GDPR applies to any organisation, regardless of its location, that processes the personal data of individuals residing in the EU
The primary objective of the GDPR is to give individuals greater control over their personal data and to harmonise data protection laws across the EU member states. It aims to create a consistent framework for data protection while also addressing the challenges posed by the digital age.
Key principles of the GDPR:
- Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency: Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently. Individuals must be informed about how their data is being used.
- Purpose limitation: Data should only be collected for specific, explicit, and legitimate purposes.
- Data minimisation: Only the minimum amount of personal data necessary for a specific purpose should be collected.
- Accuracy: Data should be accurate, and steps should be taken to ensure it remains up-to-date.
- Storage limitation: Data should be kept only for as long as necessary for the purposes for which it was collected.
- Integrity and confidentiality: Data should be securely processed to prevent unauthorised access, unlawful actions, and accidental loss or damage.
The GDPR grants individuals several rights regarding their personal data, including the right to access, correct, and erase their data.
The GDPR has influenced data protection laws and policies worldwide, as many countries and regions have introduced or updated their own data protection regulations to align with the GDPR’s principles.