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2 Eur. Data Prot. L. Rev. 287 (2016)
How the GDPR Will Change the World

handle is hein.journals/edpl2 and id is 313 raw text is: 

Foreword by Jan Philipp Albrecht 1 287

How the GDPR Will Change the World

      Jan Philipp Albrecht*

    Time is running. On 24 May 201 8 the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU
    (GDPR) will apply directly to processing activities of personal data which have a link
    to the European Union's territory or market. From this day on a breach of its provisions
    will be punishable by a sanction of up to 4% of the yearly worldwide turnover in case
    of an enterprise or up to (100 million in all cases. All Data Protection Authorities
    (DPAs) will have to impose these sanctions and they will be equipped with a wide
    range of tasks and powers on top. Binding majority decisions by a newly created Eu-
    ropean Data Protection Board can force any Member States' DPA to adopt, change or
    withdraw a certain measure. From 24 May 24 201 8 the fragmented digital market of
    today and the lack of enforcement in the field of data protection provisions will end.
    There will be a unified and directly applicable data protection law for the European
    Union which replaces almost all of the existing Member States' provisions and which
    will have to be applied by businesses, individuals, courts and authorities without trans-
    position into national law.

    Those who try to create a different perception by denying these facts are putting in
    danger everyone who has to prepare for this new law in time until 24 May 24 2018.
    There are some who say that the GDPR would not create more harmonisation but
    rather create even more national differences than today. Their main argument is that
    the GDPR has many provisions where there is a reference to Member States' laws and
    that the Regulation would in actual fact be more of a Directive. This view completely
    ignores the fact that the change from a Directive to a Regulation is in itself a revolu-
    tionary change: Instead of Member States having to transpose each and every provi-
    sion to national law with wide discretion, the GDPR now regulates almost all of the
    questions directly and only leaves exceptional and limited specification powers to
    Member States which then have to always justify any divergence from the aim of a ful-
    ly harmonised legal frame. It is clear that there will be areas where the Member States
    still preserve their competences, for example regarding media and press laws or na-
    tional security and defence. And it is natural that the GDPR does not lay out all the
    possibilities for specific data processing activities in the public sector for which na-
    tional law will - as is the case today - provide for legal basis in other laws than gen-
    uine data protection laws.

    It is paramount to understand how the GDPR will change not only the European data
    protection laws but nothing less than the whole world as we know it. Already since

  Jan Philipp Albrecht, LL.M. is Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of its Civil Liberties, Home Affairs and Justice

EDPL 312016

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