General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Media Law and Ethics Glossary Terms

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation enacted by the European Union (EU) in 2018 to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It aims to give individuals more control over their personal data and to harmonize data protection laws across the EU. The GDPR applies to all organizations that process personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the organization is located.

Who does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to any organization that processes personal data of EU citizens, regardless of whether the organization is based in the EU or not. This includes businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and other entities that collect, store, or process personal data. The GDPR also applies to data processors, such as cloud service providers, that process personal data on behalf of data controllers.

What are the key principles of the GDPR?

The GDPR is based on several key principles, including:
1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency: Organizations must process personal data lawfully, fairly, and transparently.
2. Purpose limitation: Organizations must collect and process personal data for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes.
3. Data minimization: Organizations must only collect and process personal data that is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
4. Accuracy: Organizations must ensure that personal data is accurate and up to date.
5. Storage limitation: Organizations must not keep personal data for longer than is necessary.
6. Integrity and confidentiality: Organizations must ensure the security of personal data through appropriate technical and organizational measures.

How does the GDPR impact media organizations?

Media organizations are subject to the GDPR if they process personal data of EU citizens. This includes collecting and storing personal data of subscribers, viewers, or users of their websites or apps. Media organizations must comply with the GDPR’s requirements, such as obtaining consent from individuals before collecting their personal data, providing individuals with access to their data, and implementing security measures to protect personal data.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with the GDPR?

The GDPR imposes significant penalties for non-compliance, including fines of up to 4% of an organization’s global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher. In addition to fines, organizations that violate the GDPR may also face reputational damage, lawsuits from individuals whose data has been mishandled, and orders to cease processing personal data.

How can media organizations ensure compliance with the GDPR?

Media organizations can ensure compliance with the GDPR by taking the following steps:
1. Conducting a data audit to identify what personal data is being collected, how it is being processed, and where it is stored.
2. Implementing data protection policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the GDPR’s requirements.
3. Obtaining consent from individuals before collecting their personal data and providing them with clear information about how their data will be used.
4. Implementing security measures, such as encryption and access controls, to protect personal data from unauthorized access or disclosure.
5. Training employees on data protection best practices and the requirements of the GDPR.
6. Designating a data protection officer to oversee compliance with the GDPR and serve as a point of contact for data protection authorities.