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The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most significant change to data privacy regulation in many years. The GDPR has been designed to replace existing data protection laws and bring a 21st century approach to data protection whilst harmonising data privacy laws across the European Union.

The GDPR entails major changes to existing laws, including the expansion of the rights of individuals to exercise control over their personal data and new obligations on businesses and public authorities be more accountable for data protection.

Another major change is the size of the fines that may be imposed on businesses and public authorities for failure to comply with the new rules. There are two levels of fines that can be charged:

·         Up to EURO 10 million, or 2% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher

·         Up to EURO 20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

Which level of fine is imposed will depend on which specific article of the GDPR has been breached. Infringements of a company’s obligations, for example in relation to a data security breach, will be subject to the lower level of fine. On the other hand, infringements of an individual’s privacy rights for example will attract the higher level of fine.

The GDPR comes into force on 25 May 2018. On that date, businesses and public authorities will need to be able to demonstrate compliance with the new rules.

Our lawyers are experienced in assisting clients to address the challenges of GDPR compliance. We understand the importance of practical, results oriented, no nonsense advice, and we aim to actively contribute to the success of our clients’ business by helping them to navigate the complexities of the issues that the GDPR raises.

We would be delighted to assist you in your preparation for GDPR compliance and tackling ongoing data protection and privacy challenges.

We also have a large network of lawyers who are our preferred partners in other countries. This network means that we can assist you to find excellent advice about data protection and privacy from a trusted local lawyer when necessary.