An American's Guide to the GDPR

36 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2020 Last revised: 14 Jan 2021

See all articles by Meg Leta Jones

Meg Leta Jones

Georgetown University - Communication, Culture, and Technology

Margot E. Kaminski

University of Colorado Law School; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project; Yale University - Law School; University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship

Date Written: June 5, 2020

Abstract

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May 2018, impacting companies, individuals, and countries around the world. The GDPR is long and notoriously complex. A number of helpful and influential practical overviews exist. None of these overviews, however, has squarely taken aim at what we understand to be the most significant hurdles for U.S.-based readers. Understanding the GDPR requires knowing not only what it contains, but how to read it,and a basic understanding of both data protection and broader European law.

We aim in this Essay to provide a concise one-stop-shop for GDPR novices, dabblers, and would-be experts in the U.S. that includes both necessary background context and pointers to reliable resources. We endeavor, too, to correct common misconceptions about the GDPR: that it is founded on individual consent (it’s not); that it’s about privacy (it’s about data protection); and that it’s primarily about individual rights and control (it’s equally about risk management and corporate compliance). We hope to thus inform legal practice, legal scholarship, and ongoing policy conversations about the enactment of data privacy law in the United States.

Keywords: privacy, GDPR, data protection law, data privacy law, General Data Protection Regulation

Suggested Citation

Jones, Meg and Kaminski, Margot E., An American's Guide to the GDPR (June 5, 2020). Denver Law Review, Vol. 98, No. 1, p. 93, 2021, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620198

Meg Jones

Georgetown University - Communication, Culture, and Technology ( email )

3520 Prospect St NW
Suite 311
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Margot E. Kaminski (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship ( email )

Wolf Law Building
2450 Kittredge Loop Road
Boulder, CO
United States

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