6 Months To Go

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR replaces the EU Data Protection Directive. GDPR can apply to US-based businesses even if they do not have offices or employees in the EU. It can also reach activities conducted outside the EU.

The Directive did not regulate US businesses unless the collection or processing occurred within the EU (e.g., if a US-based company had a data center in the EU). Now GDPR clearly has stronger extraterritorial reach than its predecessor.

Businesses collecting and using personal data should know their GDPR obligations. Violators of GDPR face steep penalties. Regulators can fine a company up to 20,000,000 euros or 4% of worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher.

Follow our three-question flowchart to see if GDPR applies to your company.

GDPR Flowchart


Follow our three-question flowchart above to see if GDPR applies to you.  If “Yes” then you may be required to designate a Data Protection Officer (“DPO”) by May 25, 2018, when the GDPR applies. 

Follow our five-step flowchart below to see if you need to designate a DPO:

GDPR Designate DPO

A major change with the GDPR is that data processors now have direct legal obligations under EU privacy law. This is a significant shift from the current EU Directive which only directly obligates the data controllers. Non-compliant data processors face significant fines of up to 4% of global annual turnover or 20,000,000 euros, whichever is higher and may be directly liable to individuals for damages. 

If the GDPR applies to you, review our checklist below summarizing the data processor’s obligations.

GDPR Checklist

Do Your Vendor Contracts Comply with GDPR?

Any entity processing personal data on your behalf (i.e., your vendors) must have a written contract in place. The GDPR requires specific language in your vendor contracts. 

GDPR Vendor checklist


U.S. companies already face a panoply of data breach notification laws enacted by 48 States and numerous regulators. Those subject to the GDPR may soon have yet another breach notification requirement to worry about.

Follow our chart below to determine if and when you must provide notice, who you must notify, and what your notice should include.

GDPR Breach Notification Table 1

This text leaves open plenty of questions. However, on October 3, 2017, the Article 29 Working Party issued guidelines interpreting these data breach notification requirements. Here are some of the answers:

GDPR Breach Notification Table 2

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