What is the GDPR?

On April 8, 2016 the European Union adopted a new regulation called the General Data Protection Regulation. It replaces the EU Data Protection Directive and applies to all member countries without the need for national legislation. After four years of discussion and amendments, the regulation officially takes effect on May 25, 2018 and places the EU at the forefront of data protection standards.

What does the GDPR do?

The EU Data Directive, established in 1995, was a great step towards protecting the personal information of EU residents, but because it wasn't normalised across all member states, there were inconsistencies that made it difficult for organisations to operate in multiple states. The GDPR addresses that shortfall by defining specific standards for the protection of data as required for all data controllers, regardless of location. Ultimately, the end-goal of the GDPR is to make regulation easy for data controllers around the world to follow, while also maximising the protection of data for EU residents.

What is Personal Data?

Article 4 of the GDPR defines personal data as:

"any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an

identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;"

What does the GDPR require of organisations?

In order to comply to the full scope of the GDPR, it is recommended that organisations seek legal counsel.

At a minimum, here are a few high-level action items:

  • Get consent: A data controller must be able prove that consent was given by the data subject.
  • Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment: It’s important to assess privacy risks of processing personal data of individuals.
  • Where appropriate, appoint a data protection officer: This person is responsible for overseeing compliance and data protection strategies.
  • Be prepared to report data breaches: Under the GDPR organisations must report a breach within 72 hours.
  • Maintain records of processing: Article 30 states that controllers “shall maintain a record of processing activities under its responsibility" and defines seven types. 

Failure to comply

Organisations that fail to comply will face significant fines-as high as four percent of the organization's annual revenue. Furthermore, individuals may take action against any entity that improperly handled their personal data.

More information on GDPR can be found on the Club's GDPR page.


Since Brexit, the UK is no longer regulated domestically by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs processing of personal data from individuals inside the EU.Instead, the UK now has its own version known as the UK-GDPR (United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation).The new UK-GDPR took effect on January 31, 2020. Thomas Miller and its businesses also comply with the new UK-GDPR regulations. 

For more information, contact the Thomas Miller Data Protection Officer:

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