Client Alert: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

May 25, 2018

By: Gil B. Selinger

Client Alert

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new European Union data privacy and protection regime, became effective today, May 25, 2018. You have likely received copious numbers of emails in your personal inbox from various companies telling you that they have updated their privacy policy as a result. The GDPR is designed to provide individuals located in the EU with wider protections of their personal data. Additionally, the GDPR imposes a variety of new requirements and obligations on both “controllers” and “processors” of such data.  When companies fail to comply with these new obligations, the GDPR will impose large monetary penalties on such companies.  While many U.S. companies may assume these regulations do not apply to them, the GDPR has such a long reach that it may encompass a large subset of U.S. companies that would not ordinarily expect to be subject to European data privacy laws.  Smaller, non-international companies or those that handle a relatively small amount of data relating to the EU or its citizens may be the most likely to be caught off-guard with these new regulations. 

Fairfield and Woods has routinely advised Clients on their websites and other privacy policies. We have long recommended that our Clients comply with the most stringent data protection requirements that might apply to them, their businesses, their websites, or their customers, especially in light of recent breaches of data privacy by large corporations including Facebook, Equifax and Best Buy. Until the GDPR, the State of California had the highest requirements for data privacy but now that has changed. We are advising all of our Clients with an online presence to take immediate steps to evaluate whether they are subject to the new GDPR and to bring themselves into compliance.

This Article is published for general information, not to provide specific legal advice. The application of any matter discussed in this article to anyone's particular situation requires knowledge and analysis of the specific facts involved.

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