The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union.
It addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
When the GDPR takes effect, it will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC).
It was adopted on 27 April 2016. It becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018, after a two-year transition period.
Unlike a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation and so it is directly binding and applicable.
GDPR extends the scope of EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 2% of worldwide turnover or €10 million, whichever is higher.
The GDPR also brings a new set of "digital rights" for EU citizens in an age of an increase of the economic value of personal data in the digital economy.