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6 years of GDPR: A celebration of its far-reaching impact

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We are approaching the sixth anniversary (May 25, 2024) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has influenced data protection standards around the world since it came into force on May 25, 2018. The GDPR has not only fundamentally changed the security and management of personal data, but has also strengthened the rights of individuals and more clearly defined the responsibilities of organizations.

The data privacy landscape before the GDPR

Before the introduction of the GDPR, data privacy in Europe was regulated by the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC of 1995, which no longer met the new challenges of the digital age. The rapid development of digital technologies and a number of high-profile data breaches have raised awareness and concern about the need for better data protection. This led to calls for stronger and more consistent data protection legislation, which ultimately led to the adoption of the GDPR.

The main changes to the GDPR and their impact

Improved rights for individuals

The General Data Protection Regulation has significantly strengthened the rights of the individual. These include the right to data erasure under certain conditions, the right to data portability, and extended information rights that ensure greater transparency in the use of personal data.

Clear requirements for consent

Another important change is the restructuring of consent requirements. Consent must now be explicit, informed and voluntary, which strengthens individuals’ control over their personal data and increases transparency.

Reporting obligation in case of data breaches

Companies are required to report certain types of data breaches to the relevant authorities within 72 hours. This regulation is intended to encourage a rapid response and minimize potential harm to those affected.

Global reach

The scope of the GDPR also extends to companies outside the EU that process data of individuals resident in the EU. This global dimension underlines the far-reaching impact of the regulation.

As the General Data Protection Regulation marks its sixth anniversary, we should continue to welcome its transformative role in data protection, recognising its strengthening of privacy rights and the setting of standards for data flows at a global level.

In the future, new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to influence the development of data protection in the EU and may require new regulations. Continued engagement with the principles of the GDPR will be crucial to promote a secure digital future and build trust in the protection of personal data.

Further information on the history of the GDPR and a detailed explanation of the most important aspects can be found on our dedicated page:

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