The EU's data protection laws have long been regarded as a gold standard all over the world. Over the last 25 years, technology has transformed our lives in ways nobody could have imagined so a review of the rules was needed.
In 2016, the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of its greatest achievements in recent years. It replaces the1995 Data Protection Directive which was adopted at a time when the internet was in its infancy.
The GDPR is now recognised as law across the EU. Member States have two years to ensure that it is fully implementable in their countries by May 2018.
The timeline below contains key dates and events in the data protection reform process from 1995 to 2018.
The timeline also contains highlights of some of the ways that the GDPR strengthens your right to data protection. These can be found under the headings Did you know.