How will GDPR affect your US-based business?

The GDPR Affect

From the 25rh of May, 2018, the laws governing data storage and personal privacy in the European Union will undergo a comprehensive overhaul as the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force. For companies based in the EU, this deadline looms large on the horizon – the GDRP does, after all, represent the biggest change to data protection regulation in 20 years.

Given that the GDPR will have such a wide-ranging impact, European businesses have been gearing up for compliance for more than two years – or at least they should have been. What is less well-known, however, is that the new regulations have a much greater scope than previous data laws. For companies based outside of the EU, particularly those in the US, this means that GDPR compliance cannot be ignored.

Why US companies need to be prepared

Any US-based businesses that think that the GDPR does not concern them could be in for a huge shock. GDPR affects any organisation that collects or processes data from EU citizens, regardless of where that organisation is based. This means that if a US-based firm has a web presence and targets marketing at individuals located within the EU, then GDPR compliance must be met.

Travel, software and e-commerce represent just some of the most likely sectors where US-based companies are going to engage with EU citizens on a regular basis. In fact, given that the EU and the United States have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, there are likely to be thousands of American companies that come under the GDRP’s remit.

Another reason why US businesses should take note of the new ruling is that it introduces hefty fines for any organisation that fails to achieve compliance. Penalties for the worst offences could be as large as €20 million or four percent of annual global turnover, whichever figure is greater.

How US companies can achieve compliance

Fortunately, there are ways that US companies can achieve compliance with GDRP before the deadline. First of all, businesses should make sure that they are fully versed in the ruling and how it relates to their operations. Determine whether you are a data controller or processor and identify what information you currently collect from EU citizens. Conducting a comprehensive data audit is one way of gaining a clear overview of how your business currently collects, processes and stores information.

US businesses can also enlist the help of managed Service Providers, including those based in the EU, if they are not sure how GDPR relates to them. Many cloud service providers based in the European Union are now offering bespoke GDPR packages to their clients to ensure that they are ready for the May deadline. Others, like Sungard AS, can provide specialised services that will prepare you for a particular aspect of GDPR, such as disaster recovery.

On the surface, the compliance deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation is a daunting prospect. Processes may have to be checked and employees may need further training, but there is still time to achieve compliance. What’s more, US companies should not view the new regulations as a burden. Instead, organisations all over the world should use GDPR as an opportunity to improve their data security and efficiency, giving them an advantage over their competitors and allowing them to deliver better service to their customers.

By Matthew Walker-Jones

Ransomware Hostage Prevention Tips

Ransomware Hostage Prevention Tips

Ransomware Prevention Tips (Updated: 09,24,2020) Ransomware can bring your business to its knees. Whether it comes as a system- or network-wide infection, it can do a severe damage to your company. Attacks are at a ...
Gary Bernstein

5 Notable Proxy Servers Adding That Extra Layer Of Privacy

What’s A Proxy Server? A proxy server is a gateway between the user and the internet. This is an intermediary server that separates end users from the websites they browse. It’s completely legal to use ...
Kayla Matthews

7 Technology Trends to Look for in 2020

Leading Tech Trends 2020 Cloud computing has become the norm. As of 2019, 94% of IT professionals were using the cloud in some form or another. This widespread adoption means that although it was once a ...
Business Virtual

Open Virtual Exchange (OVX) – Helping DSPs Fast Track the Monetization of SDWAN

Open Virtual Exchange (OVX) Bring agility and speed to market with intelligent network automation Digital Service Providers (DSPs) do have high expectations from virtual network services such as Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), as it promises to ...
Darach Beirne

Raising the Bar for Business Communications with Deep Customization of WebRTC

Business Communications and WebRTC By Darach Beirne, Vice President of Customer Success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado, and Julien Chavanton, Voice Platform Architecture Lead at Flowroute, now part of Intrado With rising customer demand ...
Sebastian Grady

Digital Transformation – Updated Metrics for the Cloud Era

Cloud Era Metrics Undertaking digital transformation means also transforming how IT success is defined, including metrics that address business in the cloud.  With up to 90% of budgets spent keeping the lights on, cost is ...