On 14 April 2016 the European Parliament (EP) finally approved the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will harmonise data protection rules across all the EU member states from 2018. At the same time the EP also approved a new EU Trade Secrets Directive which similarly will set a minimum common standard for laws protecting trade secrets within the EU. Data protection rules will become more onerous and organisations will face potentially crippling fines of up to 4% of their global turnover for data protection breaches. Currently the maximum penalty in the UK is £500,000.
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