The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection and privacy regulation enacted by the European Union (EU) in May 2018. GDPR is designed to give individuals in the EU greater control over their personal data and how it is collected, processed, stored, and used by organizations. It applies to businesses and organizations both within and outside the EU that handle the personal data of EU residents.

Key principles and provisions of GDPR include:

  1. Data Subject Rights: GDPR grants individuals several rights over their personal data, including the right to access, correct, delete, and transfer their data. It also gives individuals the right to know how their data is being used.
  2. Consent: Organizations must obtain clear and unambiguous consent from individuals before processing their personal data. Consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and easily withdrawable.
  3. Data Protection Officers (DPOs): Some organizations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance.
  4. Data Breach Notification: Organizations must report data breaches to the appropriate authorities and affected individuals within specific timeframes.
  5. Data Minimization: Organizations should only collect and process the personal data that is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected.
  6. Privacy by Design: Organizations are encouraged to implement data protection measures from the outset when designing products, services, or systems.
  7. Data Transfers: GDPR regulates the transfer of personal data outside the EU to ensure that data is adequately protected when it crosses borders.
  8. Accountability and Documentation: Organizations are required to keep records of data processing activities and conduct data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) for high-risk processing activities.
  9. Penalties: Non-compliance with GDPR can result in significant fines, which can be as high as 4% of the organization’s global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher.