The General Data Protection Regulation: American Compliance Overview and the Future of the American Business

Cymone Gosnell |

In 2016, the European Union (“EU”) created heightened data privacy rights for its citizens by enacting the General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”). The most drastic change from the previous regulation, enacted in 1995, lies within the expanded territorial scope. The change now subjects companies to fines for violations of the regulation, even if those companies are not domiciled in the EU. Data privacy has always been considered a fundamental human right in the EU; however, within the United States, there is no fundamental right to privacy. Rather, the country’s privacy laws are based on a complicated sectoral structure that often leads the country’s citizens confused as to what rights they actually have. This paper will review the EU and United States’ fundamental differences in privacy laws, the changes implemented by the GDPR (including the expanded territorial scope), the compliance plans of some major players within the United States, and what the future looks like for American businesses that hold or process the data of EU citizens under the GDPR. |

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