GDPR: Three Ways the World Has Changed in the Privacy Law’s First Two Years

Put into effect in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) shook businesses globally — and the European Union specifically — as organizations scrambled to adequately meet the compliance deadline. Two years later, GDPR has had a ripple effect as global companies with European subsidiaries have been forced to comply or face fines.

As we look to the future of GDPR, it’s clear that the regulation has had a lasting impact on businesses and the pursuit of data protection, however the new rule wasn’t as successfully implemented as many had hoped.

GDPR’s original intention

Designed primarily to offer consumers greater personal data protection and privacy, its secondary goal was to streamline regulations for international businesses by implementing unified protection beginning in Europe. GDPR was set to further position the EU as a worldwide technology leader and carve a path for stringent corporate tax policies. However, GDPR’s implementation was clunky and businesses lacked adequate information about how the change could impact customers.

Strict regulations were established to secure citizens’ personally identifiable information by regulating data transfer outside of Europe. People became empowered to control their digital “paper trails” by requesting a copy of their data being stored by businesses and in some cases requiring businesses to delete it.

The hefty fines for non-compliance posed a nuisance for large organizations, and a potential threat to smaller companies. It also spurred massive hiring waves as businesses everywhere opened new headcount for compliance managers that could oversee the new GDPR regulation and ensure customer data was being managed appropriately to avoid fines.

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