General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Fundamentally, almost every aspect of our lives revolves around data. From social media, companies, to banks, retailers, and governments, almost every service we use involves the collection and analysis of our personal data. Your name, address, credit card number and more all collected, analysed, and perhaps most importantly, stored by organisations. GDPR is a new set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. It aims to simplify the regulatory environment for business so both citizens and businesses in the European Union can fully benefit from the digital economy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR sets out the principles for data management and the rights of the individual, while also imposing fines that can be revenue-based. The General Data Protection Regulation covers all companies that deal with data of EU citizens, so it is a critical regulation for corporate compliance officers at banks, insurers, and other financial companies. GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018 and was adopted in April 2016 and adds to the EU’s general policy of protecting citizen’s data.

In addition to the notifications of collection and legal ramifications for misuse, there is also a requirement to obtain explicit consent, notify in cases of a hack or breach, and appoint dedicated data protection officers and much more. For financial institutions, the new rules will require significant investments in compliance to ensure continuing access to the EU market.  The type of privacy data GDPR protect is Health and genetic data, Biometric data, Basic identity information such as name, address, and ID numbers, Web data such as location, IP address and ID numbers, Racial or ethnic data, and Political Opinions.

Core Principles

The GDPR is based on the core principles of data protection which exist under the current law. These principles require organizations and businesses to:

  • Collect no more data than is necessary from an individual for the purpose for which it will be used;
  • Obtain personal data fairly from the individual by giving them notice of the collection and its specific purpose
  • Keep data safe and secure;
  • Provide an individual with a copy of his or her personal data if they request it.

General data protection regulation(GDPR) applies to almost every organization. If you control or process personal data relating to EU residents, whether they’re customers or your own staff, you will have to do so in a way that complies with GDPR.

Organizations don’t have to be based in the EU to be bound by GDPR. They only need to be processing or holding data on EU residents in order for GDPR to apply to them. Depending on your role in collecting or processing that data, the regulation will view you as either a data controller or a data processor. A data controller defines the terms (how and why) of data processing, but does not necessarily carry out these activities themselves, which mean they might contract a third party to collect and process data – telling them how to do it, and stating what purpose they are doing it for, while a data processor is the third party that performs the actual data collection and data processing, usually a controller could be any organization, from a high street retailer to a global manufacturing giant to a charity, while a processor could be an IT services firm they employ. It’s the controller’s job to make sure the processor complies with data protection law, while processors must maintain records of their processing activities to prove they abide by rules. If a processor breaches GDPR, it must notify its controller immediately, and the controller will still be liable for financial penalties if their processor breaches the rules.

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) has different roles that are responsible for ensuring compliance: data controller, data processor, and the data protection officer (DPO). The data controller defines how personal data is processed and the purposes for which it is processed. The controller is also responsible for making sure that outside contractors comply.

Data processors may be the internal groups that maintain and process personal data records or any outsourcing firm that performs all or part of those activities. The GDPR holds processors liable for breaches or non-compliance. It’s possible, then, that both your company and processing partner such as a cloud provider will be liable for penalties even if the fault is entirely on the processing partner.

The GDPR ensures the controller and the processor to designate a DPO to oversee data security strategy and GDPR compliance. Companies are required to have a DPO if they process or store large amounts of EU citizen data, process or store special personal data, regularly monitor data subjects, or are a public authority. Some public entities such as law enforcement may be exempt from the DPO requirement.


Data is the fastest way to get information about anyone; this explains why there is increased awareness on the protection of data especially from the business angle, Regulations such as GDPR are set up to reemphasize the power that the user has over information shared with organizations, and regulations such as the GDPR are set in place to checkmate the way organization and businesses handle data. This article has succeeded in enlightening on the new regulation which seeks to protect the data of users. The General Data Protection Regulation is one way through which customers hold the power over their data and organization can face charges over breaches of personal data if not properly used.

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