What Exactly is the GDPR?

GDPR is the standard world wide acronym for the General Data Protection Regulations. It is currently in force with all 28 member nations of the European Union. There is some continuing controversy about whether or not Great Britain will still be bound by the GDPR when they execute their Brexit plans early next year. Most GDPR experts believe that with the proven advantages of adhering to the GDPR Great Britain will continue to abide by its provisions even though it is no longer a member of the European Union. Each individual nation in the European Union is under the obligation to legislate their own specific laws for the enforcement of every GDPR ruling. And things like signature software are becoming increasingly critical to ensure companies stay compliant.

The purpose of the GDPR is to collate the constant and increasingly heavy and complicated data that flows from one member state to another. It is also meant to protect the right of European Union citizens enjoy over their own personal information and private data that business and government organisations currently keep on file.

Prior to its inception in the EU, data theft and illegal compilation was treated as a relatively minor infraction in most countries and was punishable by relatively moderate fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. For big players this was just chump change and well worth it to get at the millions of gigabytes becoming available through sophisticated algorithms. Once GDPR was in place, big companies like Facebook and Twitter began to have second thoughts about how they gathered and used private data from their customers — since the GDPR put some sharp teeth into the fining process — with financial penalties of up to 20 million dollars or more not only possible but likely. With GDPR in place, there’s virtually no cap to the amount an EU court can fine a company found guilty of breaking the rules.