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Understanding and Demonstrating Alignment with the GDPR

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2 A BRIEF HISTORY The GDPR's predecessor, the European Data Protection Directive ("the Directive"), was introduced in 1995 to harmonize the data privacy and protection standards of the European Member States. In concept, unifying each country's laws would endorse the free cross-border flows of personal data, ultimately spurring commerce and the general cohesion of the European nations. This was novel. Moreover, the breadth of the Directive outlining the rights of its residents was beyond any other privacy model seen before. However, over time it was revealed that the Directive allowed for considerable divergences in interpretation and implementation among the Member States and ultimately obsolesced in the wake of the globalization and evolution of technology. In the late 2000s, centering on these observations, the European Commission held a series of conferences and talks to discuss reforming the Directive to maintain and strengthen its principles and to better address emerging challenges to privacy. These efforts ultimately lead to the lobbying of the GDPR to reface the Directive. From 2013 to 2016, through negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission and the votes of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the GDPR was officially adopted. It is effective on May 25, 2018.

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