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The Brave New World of GDPR

Emma Fryer looks forward to Datacloud in Monaco where GDPR is on the menu.

I’m very much looking forward to Datacloud in Monaco next month where I will be chairing a session on GDPR. It’s a rollercoaster of a programme and we have a very short time slot so we will need to get stuck straight into the content without the luxury of much scene setting. So I thought it would be worth providing a reminder of the main issues GDPR presents to data centre operators and cloud service providers and a taster of the topics that we will explore in the session. It also gives me the opportunity to share a few of my own thoughts and concerns about GDPR.

The first thing I should say is that I am not an expert on GDPR. Although it is an issue that techUK has been very actively engaged in for the last four years it is not specific to data centres and because of its wide remit, the policy dialogue is led by a specialist team within techUK. Fortunately I get to ride shotgun on the process because the implications for data centre operators and cloud services providers are very significant.

So what is the GDPR?

The GDPR is a wide ranging EU regulation that aims to strengthen consumer protection and enhance trust and confidence in how personal data is used and managed. It will replace existing legislation that has been in place since the mid-1990s (Directive 95/46/EC). It is intended to be one of the key regulatory cornerstones for Europe's ambition to be a leading global digital economy. The regulation covers the way personal data is gathered, stored, shared, processed and used.

GDPR does not just affect technology companies: it will impact all businesses handling personal data, even small amounts - a vast range of organisations across multiple sectors. Geographically, GDPR will apply to businesses across the global economy - not just those actually located in the EU but also those based elsewhere if they process the personal data of European residents and offer them goods and services. GDPR will come into force on 25th May 2018.

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