Data protection is the process of safeguarding information from corruption, compromise or loss. The importance of data protection increases as the amount of data created and stored continues to grow at unprecedented rates. In April 2016, the European Union (EU) adopted a regulation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the various regulation and directives within the EU. Superseding the Data Protection Directive, the GDPR contains provisions and requirements related to the processing of personal data of individuals within the EU, and applies to any entity – natural or legal, regardless of the entity’s location and the individual’s citizenship or residence—that is processing the personal information of data subjects inside the EU.

The (GDPR) is in force as of 25th May 2018, replacing the pre-existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive. As An EU regulation does not generally require transposition into Irish law, organisations involved in data processing of any sort need to be aware the regulation addresses them directly in terms of the obligations it imposes.

In this video, we explore the general content of the GDPR and some of the definitions contained within it. In particular, we discuss the changes made to how we engage with and protect the data we collect. We do this by exploring some of the principles enshrined in the GDPR. In understanding the importance of the GDPR, it is imperative that we briefly review the history and legislative background to data protection in Ireland. Since the GDPR is an EU legal instrument, we discuss the concept of supremacy of EU law and the differences between the varied sources of law in the EU. In particular, we explore the difference between the GDPR and its predecessor the Data Protection Directive.

We also look at the importance of data protection, as applicable to legal practitioners by discussing the relationship between the GDPR and the Solicitor’s Code of Conduct. Having understood the importance of GDPR, we move on discussing some of the best practices for avoiding a breach of GDPR and highlighting the sources for a breach of GDPR. Staying compliant with GDPR is of vital importance, as a breach can incur hefty fines and penalties imposed by the Data Protection Commissioner. In this video, we show you how to stay compliant with GDPR.

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