What is GDPR?

The internet has dramatically changed the way we communicate and how we even handle everyday tasks. We send emails, we share documents, we pay bills, and we purchase goods by entering our personal details all online and without a second thought. Have you ever stopped to wonder how much personal data you have online? Or what happens to that information? We’re talking about banking information, contacts, addresses, social media posts, and even your IP address and the sites that you’ve visited are all stored digitally. Companies tell you that they collect this type of information so that they can serve you better, offer you more targeted and relevant communications, all to provide you a better customer experience.

Key principles of GDPR

At the core of GDPR are seven key principles – they're laid out in Article 5 of the legislation – which has been designed to guide how people's data can be handled. They don't act as hard rules, but instead as an overarching framework that is designed to layout the broad purposes of GDPR. The principles are largely the same as those that existed under previous data protection laws. GDPR's seven principles are: lawfulness, fairness and transparency; purpose limitation; data minimisation; accuracy; storage limitation; integrity and confidentiality (security); and accountability. In reality, only one of these principles – accountability – is new to data protection rules. In the UK, all the other principles are similar to those that existed under the 1998 Data Protection Act.

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