What Developers Need to Know About Europe’s Data Privacy Rules

Originally published April 28 in IEEE Spectrum 

New GDPR regulations on personal data will affect even individual coders
By Jeremy Hsu

On 25 May, enforcement will begin of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): a law covering any organization anywhere in the world that handles the personal data of EU residents. Many individual developers and small-business owners will need to make sure that their applications, services, and websites comply with the GDPR, even if they do not live in EU countries.

The GDPR aims to give Europeans a clear understanding of who has their personal data and more control over its use. This means organizations must be much more disciplined about capturing and using personal data. “You need to be able to produce, delete, and audit the data easily,” says Michela Palladino, director of European policy and government relations for the nonprofit Developers Alliance.

This article appears in the May 2018 print issue as “What You Need to Know About Europe’s Data Privacy Rules.”