International Sweepstakes & the New General Data Protection Regulations
If you conduct business overseas, you may already be familiar with the GDPR (General data Protection Regulation) which applies to any business operating in the European Union (EU) and any business that processes data from citizens of the EU (regardless of where the business is located). Well, the rules are changing. And, if you are collecting and processing data from a citizen of the EU (say, for example in an international sweepstakes or contest) these new regulations most definitely apply to you!
WHEN DO THE NEW REGULATIONS GO INTO EFFECT?
The European Commission proposed new regulations on data protection in 2012 and in April of this year the new regulations were formally approved (they go into effect on May 25, 2018). These new regulations will supersede the national laws of the 28 EU member states.
Although we are still a little over a year out from these regulations becoming officially “official”, we felt it was important to share the news with you now to ensure you have plenty of time to make the necessary internal updates and adjustments needed to continue to operate in these areas.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
While the GDPR currently applies to personal data (such as contact information and customer lists), the new regulations includes other online identifiers, such as IP addresses and rules of consent.
This will weigh heavily on any sweepstakes or contest open to minor EU members as Sponsors will now be required to obtain “Clear and affirmative consent” from the parent or legal guardian of entrants under the age of 16. And further, any EU member state has the right to lower the age to 13, which falls closer to our US based COPPA laws.
These are are just a few of the many changes taking place. We encourage any entity conducting business with EU citizens to read and familiarize themselves with the GDPR in its entirety.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR NON COMPLIANCE?
We’ve read quite a few articles on the topic and one thing is very clear – these regulations will be enforced and the penalties are substantial, with fines up to 4 percent of the annual global turnover (so, millions). That’s a hefty fine.
We will be working closely with our international counsel over the next several months regarding these changes and will be happy to help you transition! Contact us at any time for additional details! We are experts in International promotion administration and can help you set up and execute your international sweepstakes.