Data protection is something that cannot be stressed enough. Privacy of online data is already in a questionable place with hackers ready to misuse information for their benefit. The previous data protection rules were created in the 1990s which struggled to keep up with the rapid changes in the digital world. A step forward was required which will modify the scenario of data handling across the globe.

The need of GDPR

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and has been in the works for a long time now. The main goal was to enhance the data rights of EU citizens and harmonize the law for data protection across all member countries. It is also applicable to businesses which are outside the European zone and want to trade in the area.

The GDPR came into effect on 25th May 2018. Coming as a huge benefit to people, this regulation brings more transparency to the collection and usage of data by various organizations. Transforming the way how businesses and public sector organizations use customer data, it also states strict punishments and fines for those who fail to comply with these rules.

Mainly designed to give people more control over their data, this is a relief in the midst of technological advancements and news of data misuse. Individuals can now demand the companies to reveal or delete any information they have on them. While many organizations are still struggling to comply by the rules, it is evident that these affect every company.

Read here to know more about GDPR compliance rules.

GDPR and the cloud

One of the basic parts and most celebrated achievements of the evolving digital world is cloud computing. But the new compliance rules will affect every company holding data of EU citizens, even if the data centers are located beyond the EU region.

If the data is procured by legal means, the management and security of that data are of equal importance. Enterprises need to make sure they or their cloud service providers are compliant with the guidelines stated in the new regulations. Even if a cloud provider is found to be violating the regulations, the client company is liable as it is the controller and owner of that data.

Also, once a company has started to wholly use cloud-based services, it is essential to conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with GDPR. It might be a dull task, but a necessary one to avoid hefty fines for violation. Thus, in the global internet space, every application or service used must be in line with GDPR.

GDPR and the Accounting Industry

Accountants deal with a lot of private data on a daily basis and thus must be particular in their adaptation. The law applies to every citizen of the EU, a lot of small things can be easily missed. For example, your client may give you data about their business in the EU region when you are in the EU, but you may not be allowed to access private data from outside the EU.

The new law applies to every single EU citizen, even those who have dual citizenship, probably within the US. Thus, you may have an issue with data of your US-based clients too. This opens an array of complications that need to be managed with precision.

Accounting firms need to get the following things in order:

– Privacy policies

– Demonstration of data consent

– Efficient management of data

– Security of the stored data

Affecting the World, Including US-Based Businesses

It is a common misconception that businesses outside the EU need not to worry, but in reality, GDPR affects every business globally which collects any kind of personal data from its clients.

In a move towards creating the world’s strongest data protection regulations, the GDPR laws safeguard the personal information of individuals. But it is not limited to the European region. Any company using the web to target clientele, specifically in the EU region, has to learn about GDPR and make sure they comply.

US companies providing hospitality, travel, software services, and e-commerce websites are most likely to fall under scrutiny.

There is still uncertainty on how the EU will approach GDPR violations by companies based in the US and other countries that work on the web. But the EU is serious about uniformity and strict laws changing the online practices to increase citizen’s privacy.

Data is key, and data protection is essential. GDPR is a detailed set of regulations that was adopted by both the European Parliament and the European Council in April 2016 after four years of negotiations. The GDPR was published in the EU Journal in May 2016 and came into force on May 25, 2018, giving two years of preparation to companies to make changes in their policies accordingly.

Facebook and Google were hit with an $8.8 billion lawsuit for failing to comply with the GDPR on the first day of its adaptation. Some websites in the US have blocked their operations in the EU rather than adhering to new regulations. But as the saying goes, “Change is the only constant.” Therefore, we must be accepting and go with the flow of the modern era.