How Does the GDPR Affect Businesses?

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Have you been hearing about the GDPR and are curious to know how this affects you? In this post, we’ll explain the basics of GDPR and how it impacts your business. Even though GDPR is actually a European Union Law, it affects U.S.-based businesses. If you collect any personal data on people in the EU, you are required to comply with the regulations.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came about in 2012 when the European Commission made Europe “fit for the digital age.” Four years later, it was decided what would be involved and how it would be enforced. Even though GDPR is a European Law, any company that does business with the EU must comply with these regulations.

Here is a brief rundown on the GDPR framework:

  • Data must be gathered legally and for a specific purpose
  • The data can only be kept for that purpose and then deleted
  • Those who collect data must protect it from misuse
  • Everything must be handled in a transparent way
  • Consumer consent must be given

In short, GDPR gives EU citizens more control over their personal data so they can use the internet safely and securely. Not only is information to be collected legally and for a specific intent, but also it should be protected from exploitation. As for businesses, GDPR simplifies regulations so they can benefit from the digital economy as well.

How Does GDPR Compare to U.S. Privacy Laws?

GDPR is far more detailed and requires more compliance than U.S. privacy laws, which include the Federal Trade Commission, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Each one of these laws has a specific purpose, but they are not as specific as the GDPR that addresses all aspects of personal data.

Who Does GDPR Affect?

GDPR applies to any organization operating within the EU or serving customers in the EU. This means that almost all organizations in the world need some type of GDPR compliance strategy.

If a business does not comply with GDPR, the effects can be devastating and include hefty fines, legal costs and a damaged reputation. Proactivity is key. Be sure that your business understands the regulations and incorporates them into your business practices and procedures.

Here are five steps to help you stay in compliance.

  • Know where personal data is stored
  • Identify what personal data can be found in each data source
  • Document privacy rules
  • Set up protection for your data
  • Produce reports to show your compliance

Even though the GDPR can feel confusing and overwhelming, it can strengthen your business and create deeper bonds with customers. For more information on GDPR compliance, visit