GDPR Summary - Overview of the General Data Protection Regulation | Redscan
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What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most wide-ranging pieces of legislation passed by the European Union in recent memory. The GDPR was introduced to provide a set of standards to ensure better safeguarding of personal data. It standardises data protection law across the single market and gives people in a fast-moving digital economy greater control over how their personal information is used.


Who does the GDPR apply to?

All organisations that process personal data and operate within, or sell goods to the EU are affected by the GDPR. The definition of processing is aimed at covering practically every type of data usage and includes collection, storage, retrieval, alteration, storage and destruction.

The GDPR applies to both data ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’. Data controllers determine the purpose and manner in which data is processed, while data processors are any third-party undertaking data processing on behalf of a controller.

Changing GDPR requirements


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In the UK, the requirements of the GDPR are implemented and ratified by the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law that sets out how personal data must be collected, handled and stored to protect people’s privacy. It also gives individuals the right to know what personal data is held about them and to have that data erased in certain circumstances. The Act came into force on 25 May 2018 and replaced the Data Protection Act 1998.

The GDPR is retained in domestic law as the UK GDPR. The UK GDPR sits alongside an amended version of the DPA 2018. Because the UK GDPR is very similar to the EU GDPR, organisations that comply with the latter are likely to be in compliance with the former.

The key principles, rights and obligations remain the same. However, there are implications for the rules on transfers of personal data between the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).

One key point is that the UK GDPR also applies to controllers and processors based outside the UK if their processing activities relate to:

  • Offering goods or services to individuals in the UK; or
  • Monitoring the behaviour of individuals if it takes place in the UK

The UK GDPR also has implications for UK controllers with an establishment in the EU, have customers in the EU, or monitor individuals in the EU. While the EU GDPR still applies to this processing, the way organisations interact with European data protection authorities has changed.

Personal data

What is personal data?

Article 4 of the GDPR defines personal data as ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person’. For most organisations, this will mean implementing appropriate measures to protect information relating to employees, customers and partners. The GDPR broadens the definition of personal data to include all types of information that could be used to indirectly identify individuals. Other examples of personal data include:

  • ID numbers
  • IP addresses and cookie IDs
  • HR records
  • Customer contact details
  • Health records
  • Biometrics
  • CVs
  • Employment information
  • CCTV footage
  • Phone call recordings

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How does the GDPR differ from the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998?

The UK GDPR sits alongside an amended version of the DPA 2018. With UK businesses now required to adhere to the updated requirements of the DPA as well as the GDPR, it is important to understand how requirements have changed since the previous Data Protection Act, from 1998.

Personal information

An expanded definition of personal information to include online identifiers such as IP addresses.

Increased sanctions

An increased level of fines for organisations that fail to comply and/or suffer a personal data breach.

Data Protection Officers

The requirement for organisations with more than 250 employees, or firms which process more than 5,000 subject profiles annually to appoint a dedicated Data Protection Officer.


A tightening of the consent rules governing the collection and processing of personal information.

Right to be forgotten

The right for individuals to be forgotten, by requesting the erasure of their personal data from company records.

Privacy by design

Promotion of privacy by design - ensuring data protection is taken into account at every stage of a product development process.

GDPR Article 5 Principles

Personal data shall be...

Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
Retained only for as long as necessary
Processed in an appropriate manner to maintain security

Protecting personal data

The importance of ensuring the security of personal data

To ensure ongoing data security, principle six of the GDPR states that personal data should be processed in an appropriate manner.

Protecting personal data against unauthorised processing, accidental loss and destruction forms a key part of measures that all organisations should take.

Read our GDPR compliance guide
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