General Data
Protection Regulation

Article 1

Subject-matter and objectives

1. This Regulation lays down rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and rules relating to the free movement of personal data.

2. This Regulation protects fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to the protection of personal data.

3. The free movement of personal data within the Union shall be neither restricted nor prohibited for reasons connected with the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data.

What does it mean?

Personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable natural person.

Personal data includes any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a person, such as a person’s name, email address, or IP address. 

It also includes information linked to a person, such as their genetic, physical, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity. In other words, personal data is any information used to identify an individual.

Article 1 defines the subject matter of the GDPR.

The GDPR applies when personal data of individuals is processed (natural persons). 

The GDPR shall protect individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms concerning their data, and nobody can not limit the movement of personal data within the EU for data protection reasons.

In the context of the GDPR, a natural person is an individual who is a resident of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA). 

The GDPR applies to processing personal data by controllers and processors in the EU. This is true regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EU. 

It also applies to the processing of personal data of natural persons by a controller or processor not established in the EU, but only if the processing activities relate to the offering of goods or services to natural persons in the EU or the monitoring of their behaviour. 

In other words, the GDPR applies to the personal data of individuals who are residents of the EU and EEA.

The GDPR intends to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons concerning their data. 

It does this by setting out some principles for processing personal data, which organisations must follow if they process personal data. 

These principles include the requirement to process personal data in a lawful, fair, and transparent manner and to collect and process only the personal data necessary for the purpose hereof.

The GDPR gives individuals certain rights concerning their data, such as the right to access their data, rectify any inaccurate or incomplete personal data, and have their data erased in certain circumstances. 

Individuals have the right to object to processing their data in some instances.

Individuals also have the right to data portability, which allows them to obtain a copy of their data in a commonly used, machine-readable format and to transmit it to another controller, e.g. a competitor offering a similar service.

The GDPR has been in effect since 2018, and its results vary on how it is implemented and enforced by individual EU member states.

The EU countries have different bureaucratic setups and speeds at which they move.

In some EU countries, compliance with the rules has been significantly adopted. Big Tech companies’ compliance with GDPR has been behind, as there are several ongoing cases against these. Non-compliance with the GDPR might still be cheaper and easier for many organisations.

However, there is some evidence that the GDPR has positively impacted data protection in the EU. 

For example, the regulation has increased awareness of personal data protection among individuals and organisations and has strengthened individuals’ rights regarding their data. It has also resulted in greater accountability and transparency for organisations that collect, use, or process personal data.

Additionally, the GDPR has successfully promoted cooperation and consistency in applying personal data protection rules across the EU and fostering closer collaboration between EU member states and non-EU countries on data protection issues.

The free movement of personal data is one of the underlying ideas behind the GDPR.

The EU has a fundamental right to the free movement of labour. The free movement of personal data within the union supports the right to free movement of labour. 

Personal data from one EU member state can be transferred and processed in other EU member states without being subject to additional restrictions or limitations.

This rule also helps to ensure that the personal data of individuals is protected consistently across the EU and allows for greater cooperation and coordination between EU member states on data protection.

Overall, the free movement of personal data is an essential part of EU data protection law and is designed to promote the efficient and effective functioning of the EU’s single market while also protecting the personal data of individuals.

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