GDPR what is it all about and how will it affect US?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on the 25th May 2018. New accountability obligations, stronger rights and restrictions on international data flows makes this new framework ambitious, complex and strict.

The Data Protection principles stay largely unchanged but with some new elements highlighted in italics below.

*Lawfulness, fairness and transparency

Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.

Purpose limitation

Personal data must be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way incompatible with those purposes. Further processing of personal data for archiving purposes in the public interest, or scientific and historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered incompatible with the original processing purposes. However, conditions in Article 89(1) (which sets out safeguards and derogations in relation to processing for such purposes) must be met.

Data minimisation

Personal data must be adequate, relevant and limited to those which are necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.


Personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay.

Storage limitation

Personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed. Personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, or scientific and historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) and subject to implementation of appropriate technical and organisational measures.

Integrity and confidentiality

Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.


The controller shall be responsible for and be able to demonstrate compliance with these principles.

So, what does this mean to anyone handling Personal Data?

Security Watchdog staff should keep a watch out for any communications that come out regarding the new Data Protection rules. Certain business practises where we handle personal information will require updating to ensure we comply.

Other than that, take a good look at the changes above and start to think about how they will affect the work that you do and if you have any ideas that will help you to do your job better or help towards compliance then please speak up.

*Source – Bird and Bird – Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation