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One of the selling points for the General Data Protection Regulation is that it will harmonise data protection law across the European Union. What’s so good about that? At the moment, various countries can implement the data protection requirements with a degree of flexibility – so one country may fine more heavily than another. It can also cause some confusion when data protection issues arise between countries, for example with international offices or international customers.
By having one Regulation that applies to all EU member states, there is clarity and consistency with the data protection rules. Everyone knows where they stand and knows that their data is well protected. As the GDPR has an extra territorial effect, countries outside of the EU will also have to comply with these higher standards, thus improving data protection across the globe. Especially given the scale of the changes, it is worthwhile to have the higher standards implemented across the EU in one fell swoop, rather than just one country leading the way.