Earlier today, the European Parliament finally gave its long awaited approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), thereby completing the four-year legislative process aiming to replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive of 1995.

Now that the GDPR has finally been formally adopted, it is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the EU in the coming weeks and to enter into force in spring 2018.

The GDPR is aimed at further harmonizing and strengthening data protection in the EU and shall be directly applicable in all EU member states.

Businesses operating in the EU shall have two years (as from publication of the GDPR in the Official Journal of the EU) to make sure they are GDPR compliant.