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General Data Protection Regulation

… is a regulation of the European Union to

  1. protect the personal data of natural persons,
  2. regulate the free movement of personal data within the European Union.

The regulation entered into force on 24 May 2016 and applies since 25 May 2018. The aim is to harmonise the rules of governing the personal data by public and private data processors throughout the EU.

The European Commission provides general information on data protection in the EU by an according website and in all EU official languages.

The 99 articles of the General Data Protection Regulation can be found on the European Commission's website and combined with an overview on a website dedicated to the GDPR. Both are in all EU languages available.

Explanations with FAQ, a checklist for data controlers and updates are gathered on the GDPR website.

An introduction of 2:55 min. is given by the Wall Street Journal on Youtube.


Criticism was given by lawyers, among others. For example, the head of the Department of Public Law with a focus on the law of technology and environmental protection at the University of Kassel/Germany, Prof. Dr. Alexander Roßnagel, said: “All modern challenges to data protection such as social networks, Big Data, search engines, cloud computing, ubiquitous computing and other technology applications are ignored by the text of the regulation”. (Roßnagel, 2016)

Moreover, the Regulation contained more than 70 opening clauses, which allowed Member States to maintain existing data protection rules or to adopt new ones. This would result in different rules in all Member States. (Roßnagel, 2016)

In an expert opinion by the professor from November 2019, it is stated that the EU regulation contains many too vague provisions that do not do justice to the goals of higher consumer protection (Roßnagel/provet, 2019).

According to Wikipedia, Members of the European Parliament have criticised strong lobbying by representatives of the US government and US IT companies. They would have feared stricter data protection rules also in the USA (Wikipedia, General Data Protection Regulation).

The internet platform LobbyPlag.eu lists “Major Issues” about the GDPR.


European Commission, Data protection in the EU, https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-protection-eu_en (retrieved 04/05/2020)

European Parliament and European Council, General Data Protection Regulation, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1528874672298&uri=CELEX%3A32016R0679

Datenschutz-Grundverordnung, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datenschutz-Grundverordnung#Debatte_%C3%BCber_die_DSGVO (retrieved 04/05/2020)

GDPR.EU, Complete guide to GDPR compliance, https://gdpr.eu (retrieved 04/05/2020)

General Data Protection Regulation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation#Reception (retrieved 04/05/2020)

LobbyPlag.eu, Major Issues, https://lobbyplag.eu/governments/topics (retrieved 04/05/2020)

Roßnagel, Alexander, Studie: EU-Datenschutz-Grundverordnung verfehlt alle Ziele – Kasseler Juristen entwirren Rechtslage, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20171215221322/http://www.uni-kassel.de/uni/universitaet/pressekommunikation/neues-vom-campus/meldung/article/studie-eu-datenschutz-grundverordnung-verfehlt-alle-ziele-kasseler-juristen-entwirren-rechtslag.html (retrieved 04/05/2020)

Roßnagel, Alexander / provet – Projektgruppe verfassungsverträgliche Technikgestaltung, Evaluation der Datenschutz-Grundverordnung aus Verbrauchersicht, 2019, https://www.vzbv.de/sites/default/files/downloads/2019/12/04/19-11-26_gutachten_evaluation_dsgvo.pdf (retrieved 04/05/2020)

Wall Street Journal, GDPR: What Is It and How Might It Affect You? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6wwBqfSk-o

Author: Sophia Bickhardt, weltgewandt e.V.


Anonymous, 2020/09/03 19:21
Very usuful information about protect the personal data.
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