The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced to unify all EU member states' approaches to data regulation, ensuring all data protection laws are applied identically in every country within the EU. It will protect EU citizens from organisations using their data irresponsibly and puts them in charge of what information is shared, where and how it's shared.
The GDPR is due to come into force on 25 May - and even though the UK is due to leave Europe in the next 12 months, it will still apply to all businesses handling EU residents' data, effectively replacing the Data Protection Act 1998.
Complying with GDPR is vital. Any business found not sticking to the rules could be charged fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company's global annual turnover, though the toughest fines will be reserved for the worst data breaches or data abuse.