Irish businesses will be obliged to pay more attention to their data protection procedures in future in order to avoid facing huge EU fines in the event of a data breach.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is expected to be approved by the EU parliament in the coming days, is aimed at developing a more coherent and uniform data protection regime across the EU Member States.

It will require Irish companies to ensure privacy is in-built into systems and products, and to report privacy breaches to authorities, or face sanctions of as much as 4% of global revenues.

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