As of May 2018, with the entry into application of the General Data Protection Regulation, there is one set of data protection rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based.
Stronger rules on data protection mean: I) people have more control over their personal data; II) businesses benefit from a level playing field
The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.
The GDPR aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
Superseding the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the regulation contains provisions and requirements related to the processing of personal data of individuals (formally called data subjects in the GDPR) inside the EEA, and applies to any enterprise established in the EEA or—regardless of its location and the data subjects' citizenship—that is processing the personal information of data subjects inside the EEA.
Controllers of personal data must put in place appropriate technical and organizational measures to implement the data protection principles. Business processes that handle personal data must be designed and built with consideration of the principles and provide safeguards to protect data (for example, using pseudonymization or full anonymization where appropriate), and use the highest-possible privacy settings by default, so that the datasets are not publicly available without explicit, informed consent, and cannot be used to identify a subject without additional information (which must be stored separately).
No personal data may be processed unless this processing is done under a lawful basis specified by the regulation, or unless the data controller or processor has received an unambiguous and individualized affirmation of consent from the data subject.
The data subject has the right to revoke this consent at any time.