The European Union’s much-vaunted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force this week. But Europe isn’t the only entity trying to balance digital freedoms with citizens’ privacy rights.
These five facts look at the state of data privacy laws around the world.
What is GDPR?
GDPR is the updated replacement to Europe’s 1995 Data Protection Directive, one that’s taken almost a decade to get across the finish line.
At its heart, GDPR provides European citizens with the tools they need to better control the data collected about them. Under the law, from May 25 onwards, firms anywhere in the world that collect data on E.U. citizens need to offer users the option to see the information collected about them, and to move or delete that information. Firms will also be required to report any data breaches within 72 hours.
There are numerous other GDPR regulations that companies will need to comply with as well. But the basic idea behind the law is to orient companies toward “privacy by default” and put people in charge of their personal data.