The collection, storage, harvesting and usage of Personally Identifiable Information or data for gain without the knowledge and authorization of their owners have become a thorny issue since March 2018 for Facebook and its Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The discovery that over 87 million of data were secretly mined and sold to politicians with the intention to influencing voters’ choices in the 2015/2016 US general election by Cambridge Analytica has traumatized the world so fiercely than any other discovery in recent times.

While this revelation has cost Facebook approximately $ 80 billion in value since March 16, 2018, Mark Zuckerburg in an attempt to douse the situation had recently published a personal apology and made a pledge that “ We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in… to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we’ll have more changes to share in the next few days.

Today more search-lights are beamed in the monitoring, regulations, and management of data and their uses particularly on social media platforms and other avenues through which personal information are collected and shared.
More importantly too and for the notice of all, the European Union has passed into law the GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR) which come into effect on the 25th of May, 2018.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation; it is a European Union fresh data privacy protection and regulation law which attempts to control how companies collect, store and handle personal data or information of their customers’ or other third parties.
The General Data Protection Regulation was agreed to by the European Union Parliament and council on April 27, 2016, and becomes fully operational in the European economic areas on May 25, 2018. It replaces the Data Direction Protection.


Generally speaking, the General Data Protection Regulation is to normalize and place some level of control on the use of customers’ (both internal and external customer) or clients’ data/information thereby setting in place:
1. An ethical standard on social media usage of employee or applicants information
2. Employee or applicant protection in online media
3. Check on the deliberate misuse of employee or prospective employee’s details
4. Restrain on intentional manipulation of employee or applicant information for business gain without the express permission of the party
5. The exercise of the right to privacy
It will be noted that HR deals with a lot of records both for the company’s employees and as well as job applicants who responded to a job advertisement and those who voluntarily submit their curriculum vitae for possible openings in the organization. The records of current employees, ex-staff of the organization and pool of application letters with personal information and the use to which they are put to falls under GDPR.
It is therefore instructive for HR professionals to work out an appropriate compliant measure particularly for those dealing with clients in the EU economic areas and countries where GDPR is enforced.
It is of note to mention for the sake of clarity that GDPR is not citizenship based but essentially residency, meaning that GDPR applies to data for EU resident or any other nationals from any country residing in the European Union or EU Economic zone.


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