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The Implications of the GDPR for Those Outside of Europe

Do you have to adjust your privacy policies?

Surely you have already received a ton of emails and notifications notifying you of changes in the privacy policies of companies with which for some reason you have shared your personal data. And surely you have heard that this is due to the implementation of the new General Regulation Data Protection of the European Union, GDPR.

However, the question remains: does this apply to me if I am not European, or my company is not based in Europe?

The answer is yes.

What has been put on the table with this new regulation is the necessity of expressed authorization of users for companies to use the information they collect directly or indirectly about their persons. This includes their habits and interactions within websites and online platforms, and even those that are requested in the real world to create any type of database. The sanctions that it foresees can even reach 30 million euros or up to 4% of the annual income of a company - whichever is greater. But it is not for this reason that it has raised so much interest on a global level.

The fact is that the GDPR covers not only European sites and companies but also European and foreign users who are located within Europe, without distinguishing which site they are accessing or the time they have provided this information. In addition, this new framework is expected to serve as a reference to update regulations in other countries.

From a simple conception, the GDPR is based on two principles: Transparency and consent.

What has been said, strictly speaking, to comply with the GDPR is to explain to your clients what you are going to do with their data and to have their updated consent. It is easy said, but it is difficult to enact because in principle a company must understand all the processes in which this information is valuable for their business processes and decisions, how they it is being protected, and then sharing this with the client and requesting confirmation that they can keep using it.

Of course, there is a risk that databases will be reduced to a small fraction. But it will always be preferable to have a conscious audience of what it means to share personal information, which puts us one step closer to a more responsible digital citizenry in the face of accelerated digitalization of all spheres of life.

Ángel Estrada is Frontend Developer with Mijo! Brands, a leading creative digital marketing agency with presence in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Ángel is a Multimedia Engineer from the University Center of the Coast of the University of Guadalajara, with experience in the development of interfaces, user experience and web strategy. Junior in the position of a dad of which he recently joined. Aguacalientes by birth, Pata Salada(Vallartense) by adoption. He loves everything that has to do with technology, is cataloged as a frustrated geek and occasional amateur photographer.