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Overview of the GDPR: A Dallas Business Attorney’s Perspective (Part 2)

Dallas business law attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, continues his discussion of the GDPR and how it affects Texas business owners.

What Are the Rules of the GDPR?

Unfortunately, that question is difficult to answer briefly. While the intent of the GDPR is to present a simplified, uniform process for data handling, the law itself is remarkably complex and ambiguous, due in part to its ambitious goal of meeting the data privacy needs of citizens in 28 countries—not to mention the millions of companies who will have to find a way to comply with those needs. It’s a grey area that will likely need refining in the coming years. However, here’s the gist of what the GDPR requires of companies:

• Simplified language in privacy statements and an express request for the customer’s permission to use the data—as well as an option for the consumer to have his/her data “forgotten.”
• Restrictions on exporting the data outside the EU. (Specifically, if you store EU data on non-EU computers, the data must comply with EU laws—and that can get tricky if you don’t understand those laws.)
• The GDPR invokes stiff penalties on companies that don’t comply. Fines can be as high as 4 percent of annual global turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is higher. (Obviously, some small businesses don’t have that much net worth, let alone being able to pay such a fine.)

How Does the GDPR Apply to My Business?

If your company has any accounts within the European Union, those accounts are subject to GDPR compliance. If you don’t do business with anyone in Europe—specifically, within the European Union—the GDPR basically doesn’t apply to you at all. However, these rules will likely set new global standards, and other countries may follow suit—so forward-thinking companies should consider becoming GDPR compliant even if they currently have no EU accounts.

How Can I Make Sure My Texas Company is GDPR Compliant?

If you are already careful with your customers’ personal data, you may already be at least close to GDPR compliance, and you may not have to make many changes at all. However, the law is simply too complex to take chances and give it your “best guess” when it comes to compliance.

For maximum protection for your company, have your privacy and data collection policies evaluated by a knowledgeable Dallas business law attorney. To learn more about the GDPR and how it may affect you, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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