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At the start of the year, at least half of Europe's businesses didn't know about these changes, so, probably not, but you should, especially if you are keeping data in your business.

The General Data Protection Regulation aim is to harmonise the current data protection laws in place across the EU member states. The fact that it is a “regulation” instead of a “directive” means it will be directly applicable to all EU member states without a need for national implementing legislation.  It includes a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 100M euros or up to five percent of worldwide turnover for organisations in breach of its rules!

Although GDPR may not come into force until 2017, it will impact all businesses that collect, process and store personal data, which is defined by the EU as:

Any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, your bank details, your posts on social networking websites, your medical information, or your computer’s IP address.

For brands, and marketers in particular, GDPR brings with it some drastic changes in how data is processed that need to be prepared for now.

What is worrying is that there does not seem to be one good source of information; the Information Commissioners Office should be leading the way in the UK, but can only offer a single, dated, pdf, here.

As we get more information, we will update members, but please investigate this now.