Ever wondered what all those “We comply with GDPR” badges mean on websites you visit? If you operate on European soil, or if you even have customers that live there, then you have probably encountered GDPR. Maybe it even affects you as a consumer!

Have you heard of the GDPR? Even if you haven’t, your private data could still be protected by the legislation when you travel or shop online.

What exactly is the General Data Protection Regulation, and how does it affect you — as a buyer and a worker too?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of rules established by the European Union (EU) in 2016. Its main goal? The GDPR is designed to give people more control over their personal data.

Think of it as a set of ground rules for how companies can handle your information in the digital age. It protects your data during the processing and transferring of information within and across the EU.

The key to this data protection law is transparency. Companies need to be clear and upfront about the data they collect from you and how they plan to use it. No more hidden clauses or sneaky data grabs! You have the right to understand what information is being collected and why.

Under GDPR, you actually have a number of rights regarding your personal data! These include the rights to access the information a company holds on you, rectify any inaccuracies, and even request its deletion under certain circumstances. Basically, you get to decide what information companies can keep and what they need to erase!

Maybe you’re thinking: Why does this matter to me? Especially if you don’t live or work anywhere within the European Union, you might think it doesn’t affect you at all…but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The reach of GDPR extends beyond European borders. Any website or app that does business with Europeans needs to comply with these regulations. This means that, as a user, you likely benefit from GDPR’s data protection measures, even if you’re located outside the EU. Businesses hold all customers to the same high standards of protection.

Meanwhile, you may have to abide GDPR standards at your own job too. If your company does business in Europe or handles the PII of any EU citizen, then you’re beholden to GDPR compliance too! If you travel to a country within the EU, then you know any business you frequent has safeguards in place that meet national regulations

Companies are obligated to take robust measures to safeguard your data from breaches and leaks! GDPR takes data security seriously, and companies face hefty fines if they fail to protect your information. This means you can have more peace of mind knowing your data is secure.

If you work for or with a company that operates in Europe, or you service customers that live there (very common with online stores!) then you have to follow the same compliance regulations. Never doubt the importance of cyber-compliance—all around the world.