The General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679, “GDPR”) is a Regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in particular Article 8(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR’s primary aim is to enhance individuals’ control and rights over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business.Superseding the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the regulation contains provisions and requirements related to the processing of personal data of individuals, formally called “data subjects”, who are located in the EEA, and applies to any enterprise—regardless of its location and the data subjects’ citizenship or residence—that is processing the personal information of individuals inside the EEA.
The GDPR was adopted on 14 April 2016 and became enforceable beginning 25 May 2018. As the GDPR is a regulation, not a directive, it is directly binding and applicable, and provides flexibility for certain aspects of the regulation to be adjusted by individual member states.
The regulation became a model for many other laws across the world, including in Turkey, Mauritius, Chile, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, South Africa, Argentina and Kenya. As of 6 October 2022, the United Kingdom retains the law in identical form despite no longer being an EU member state. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), adopted on 28 June 2018, has many similarities with the GDPR.