The European Union General Data Protection Regulation: What It Is And What It Means
40 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 24, 2018
This article introduces U.S. lawyers and academics to the normative foundations, attributes, and strategic approach to regulating personal data advanced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). We explain the genesis of the GDPR, which is best understood as an extension and refinement of existing requirements imposed by the 1995 Data Protection Directive; describe the GDPR’s approach and provisions; and make predictions about the GDPR’s short and medium-term implications. The GDPR is the most consequential regulatory development in information policy in a generation. The GDPR brings personal data into a detailed and protective regulatory regime, which will influence personal data usage worldwide. Understood properly, the GDPR encourages firms to develop information governance frameworks, to in-house data use, and to keep humans in the loop in decision making. Companies with direct relationships with consumers have strategic advantages under the GDPR, compared to third party advertising firms on the internet. To reach these objectives, the GDPR uses big sticks, structural elements that make proving violations easier, but only a few carrots. The GDPR will complicate and restrain some information-intensive business models. But the GDPR will also enable approaches previously impossible under less-protective approaches.
Keywords: Privacy, Data Protection, EU, European Union, General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, Information Privacy, Consumer Privacy
JEL Classification: K12, K00, D10, D11, D20, D30, D40, D60, D70, L00, L11, L20, L51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation