While some tend to portray new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) as menacing Apocalypse coming from nowhere, fact is that GDPR is an “upgrade” of existing EU data protection laws. EU Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) was adopted already in 1995. In some countries – like Germany and Sweden – data protection laws were introduced even much earlier – in 1970s and 1980s.
GDPR keeps the basic principles of Data Protection Directive and ads new “layer” to it, aiming to unify data protection in all EU countries and bring more rights and control over data use back to individuals. In fact, GDPR incorporates guidance of data protection authorities and best practice in data protection. There almost nothing in GDPR that wouldn’t already exist somewhere. For example, data protection by design and by default principle originated back in 1980s, data protection officers already are mandatory requirement in Germany, and breach notification exist in communication sector for years.
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