The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is changing the way businesses collect, store, and utilize data from their customers ever since its enforcement on the 25th of May, 2018. But what exactly is this regulatory demand? How does it impact businesses? And, more importantly, can you leverage the full potential of your digital transformation initiatives while also staying GDPR compliant?

Author Radiana Pit | Copperberg

These are the three questions this article will answer for you. Let's dive in!

1. What is GDPR?

The GDPR is a fairly recent European privacy regulation that has been implemented in all local privacy laws in the EU and EEA region. It applies to all businesses that are either selling or storing the personal data of EU and EEA citizens. This regulatory demand that requires businesses to change the way they handle personal data is great news for EU and EEA citizens, as it gives them more control over what happens to their private information. But can the same be said about the businesses involved?

While this new regulation sparked some controversy in the beginning, it has also garnered support from businesses that consider it a great opportunity for data management improvement—much to the contentment of the European Council, which has stated that the GDPR should be regarded as "a prerequisite for the development of future digital policy initiatives."

Yet, many companies have a difficult time keeping up with the new requirements imposed by this regulation. For instance, the improved rights for the data subject, such as the right to be forgotten or the right to data portability, create new challenges for the businesses trying to accommodate these rights and make them an intrinsic part of their internal processes.

Additionally, the GDPR lays out specific principles that companies should adopt. This makes compliance very process-driven and time-consuming. Likewise, the regulation imposes an obligation on businesses to maintain records of their data protection activities and, it goes without saying, but failure to comply attracts significant fines and sanctions.

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