The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 will have direct effect in Ireland on 25 May 2018. The focus of the regulations is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.

The GDPR Regulations will enforce a common standard across the European Union in respect of data security and rights, meaning member states will not be entitled to deviate from same.

Any business that holds personal data relating to anyone, be they a customer, supplier, client, or employee, will have to ensure that they comply with the regulations. This means that they will have to review all policies and procedures to ensure that compliance with the regulations ahead of the 25 May commencement date.

If an organization or business is found to be in breach of the regulation, the financial penalties are massive. Fines for breaches of the regulations can be up to €20 million, or 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater.

GDPR is designed to ensure security and accountability and in respect of the exchange of data between organisations. Proper procedures regarding encryption and retention of data will be of paramount importance to demonstrate compliance, and businesses will need to implement policies and procedures around the exchange of data, particularly where it is considered sensitive data.

For queries in respect of GDPR compliance or related queries, please contact Seán O’Halloran on (021) 239 0620