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What is GDPR? GDPR and Whois

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

After four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016. Enforcement date: 25 May 2018 - at which time those organizations in non-compliance may face heavy fines. 

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the GDPR, as well as information on its business impact, can be found throughout this site.

Data protection

Better rules for small business

Stronger rules on data protection from 25 May 2018 mean citizens have more control over their data and business benefits from a level playing field. One set of rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based. Find out what this means for your SME.

What is GDPR personal data ?

  • Name
  • Address
  • Localisation
  • Online identifier
  • Health information
  • Income
  • Cultural profile
  • and more

Why change the rules?

It's about trust...

A lack of trust in old data protection rules held back the digital economy and quite possibly your business.


of people feel they have complete control over the information they provide online.

And helping business boom...

One set of rules for all companies processing data in the EU 

Doing business just got easier and fairer

The new system keeps costs down and will help business grow

€130 million 
cost of informing 28 different Data Protection Authorities for business in the EU under the old system.
2.3 billion
estimated economic benefits of having one law.

New rules should boost consumer confidence and in turn business.

What your company must do for GDPR?

Protect the rights of people giving you their data

Use plain language.Tell them who you are when you request the data. Say why you are processing their data, how long it will be stored and who receives it.

Get their clear consent to process the data.Collecting from children for social media? Check age limit for parental consent.

Access and Portability
Let people access their data and give it to another company.

Inform people of data breaches if there is a serious risk to them.

Erase data
Give people the ‘right to be forgotten’. Erase their personal data if they ask, but only if it doesn’t compromise freedom of expression or the ability to research.

If you use profiling to process applications for legally-binding agreements like loans you must:

  • Inform your customers;
  • Make sure you have a person, not a machine, checking the process
    if the application ends in a refusal;
  • Offer the applicant the right to contest the decision.

Give people the right to opt out of direct marketing that uses their data.

Safeguarding sensitive data
Use extra safeguards for information on health, race, sexual orientation, religion and political beliefs.

Data transfer outside the EU
Make legal arrangements when you transfer data to countries that have not been approved by the EU authorities.

Do data protection by design

Build data protection safeguards into your products and services from the earliest stages of development.


Processing data for another company?

Make sure you have a watertight contract listing the responsibilities of each party.

Check if you need a data protection officer

This is not always obligatory. It depends on the type and amount of data you collect, whether processing is your main business and if you do it on a large scale.

  • You process personal data to target advertising through search engines based on people’s behaviour online.Yes
  • You send your clients an advert once a year to promote your local food business.No
  • You are a GP and collect data on your patients’ health.No
  • You process personal data on genetics and health for a hospital.Yes

Keep records

SMEs only have to keep records if data processing is

  • Regular
  • A threat to people's rights
    and freedoms
  • Dealing with sensitive data
    or criminal records

Records should contain:

  • Name and contact details of business
  • Reasons for data processing
  • Description of categories of data subjects and personal data
  • Categories of organisations receiving the data
  • Transfer of data to another country or organisation
  • Time limit for removal of data, if possible
  • Description of security measures used when processing, if possible

Anticipate with impact assessments

Impact assessments may be required for HIGH-RISK processing.

  • New technologies

  • Automatic,
    systematic processing
    and evaluation of

  • Large-scale
    monitoring of a
    publicly accessible area (e.g. CCTV)

  • Large-scale
    processing of sensitive
    data like biometrics

The cost of

Your local Data Protection Authority monitors compliance; their work is coordinated at EU-level.

The cost of falling foul of the rules can be high.