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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 130 – March 2018 > This Time It’s Personal Data

This Time It’s Personal Data

The EU’s latest regulatory challenge for managers

The General Data Protection Regulation is the latest piece of legislation affecting hedge fund managers to roll off the European Union’s production line. It comes into force on 25 May 2018, and represents a significant overhaul and expansion of the EU data protection regime.

Most managers have already been getting to grips with the details, so this piece looks at some particular questions that have arisen for hedge fund managers.

The new world of data protection

GDPR was not written on a blank slate. It is closely based on the EU’s current legislation, the Data Protection Directive 1995 (implemented in the UK by the Data Protection Act 1998), and the most fundamental concepts – “processing”, “personal data”, “data controllers” and “data processors” – will be familiar to those who already know the current regime. GDPR also prescribes a largely unchanged set of conditions for the processing of personal data and a list of “data protection principles” that has only been slightly refreshed. Much of it feels very familiar.

The most noticeable changes under GDPR are an extension of territorial application (of which more below), more restrictive conditions for valid consent, more detailed disclosure requirements, and additional rights for individuals whose data is being processed.

These changes are obviously significant. But lurking behind them is a more fundamental change in the EU’s philosophy regarding the protection of personal data, reflecting a world that has changed beyond recognition since 1995 in the field of personal data. This new outlook manifests itself in the enhanced powers of regulators to investigate businesses by conducting data protection audits, the new requirement that a firm must, in addition to complying, also be able to demonstrate compliance, the requirement on many organisations to have a data protection policy, and the requirement to keep data processing records.

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Informing the Hedge Fund Community. With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.