The EU’s data protection regulations and South African business

On 25 May 2018, the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. While the regulations are aimed at protecting EU citizens and residents, its reach will be global and will impact on certain businesses operating in South Africa. The GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive and is far-reaching, imposing additional obligations on organisations processing personal data of individuals in the EU. The protection not only extends to EU-residents, but all individuals who find themselves in the EU. All personal data allowing a person to be identified, either directly or indirectly, is protected. This includes an EU person’s name, identification number, location, or IP-address. It also includes information relating to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of a person. South African organisations with activities in Europe may not be aware that the GDPR may apply to them too. The Regulation may apply to…

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