The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25th, 2018. The GDPR by the European Union affects EU as well as non-EU businesses and sites regardless of size, location, or financial turnover. This new legislation relates to how personal data about EU citizens is collected, processed, and how the data is stored. As such, a website with EU customers or visitors is required to comply with GDPR.
Personal data is defined as, any and all information concerning an identifiable or identified natural person. The definition of personal data is expanded with GDPR and includes location data; online identifiers; genetic data; pseudonymized data; and biometric data, such as fingerprint and facial recognition logins. This may be multiple pieces or a single piece of data.
In addition to personal data, sensitive personal data is included as well and is defined as information about an individual’s health data; race or ethnic origin; sexual orientation or sex life; membership with trade union; philosophical or religious beliefs; and spent or past conviction. Protections and consequences for breach of sensitive personal data are greater than regular personal data.
Depending on the seriousness of the breach, penalties for non-compliance vary. Four percent of annual global turnover, with a maximum penalty of €20 million, could be implemented. The purpose of high penalties is to increase compliance. The site owner is the responsible party and must ensure it is GDPR compliant.
To ensure your WordPress website protects personal data with the GDPR update, the website must be compliant.
With GDPR, control over personal data is returned to the individual the data refers to through the use of consent. What this means to site owners and developers, better user controls and consent mechanisms must be provided. It must never be assumed that consent was given. An opt-in and opt-out option must always be provided to the user.
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