Rights of Individuals under the General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 25th May 2018 will replace current data protection laws in the European Union.
The new law will give individuals greater control over their data by setting out additional and more clearly defined rights for individuals whose personal data is collected and processed by organisations. The GDPR also imposes corresponding and greatly increased obligations on organisations that collect this data.
Personal data is any information that can identify an individual person. This includes a name, an ID number, location data (for example, location data collected by a mobile phone) or a postal address, online browsing history, images or anything relating to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of a person.
The GDPR is based on the core principles of data protection which exist under the current law. These principles require organisations and businesses to:
Under the GDPR individuals have the significantly strengthened rights to:
Organisations and businesses collecting and processing personal data will be required to meet a very high standard in how they collect, use and protect data. Very importantly, organisations must always be fully transparent to individuals about how they are using and safeguarding personal data, including by providing this information in easily accessible, concise, easy to understand and clear language.
For organisations and businesses who breach the law, the Data Protection Commissioner is being given more robust powers to impose very substantial sanctions including the power to impose fines.
The GDPR will also permit individuals to seek compensation through the courts for breaches of their data privacy rights, including in circumstances where no material damage or financial loss has been suffered.