What exactly is the GDPR about? (2024)

What exactly is the GDPR about?

What is the GDPR? With so much to learn about Europe’s data privacy and security laws, it is important to take things one step at a time. This article would be providing you with an overview of what exactly is the GDPR, a brief history, and how to get certified with CIPP.

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the hardest privacy and security laws that exist in the world. The law was created by the European Union but it covers any actions that affect or collect data from the people in the European Union. The regulations were effected on May 25, 2018, with provisions to levy fines and sanctions on people who violate the privacy and security standards stated in this law with penalties reaching ten million euros.

The GDPR allows Europe to take a firm stance on data privacy and security, especially now that more and more people are trusting cloud services to store their data. The regulations are large and encompassing; making compliance a daunting prospect.

Brief History of the GDPR

The right to privacy is a fundamental human right backed by the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. It states that “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” It is from this standpoint that the European Union sought to establish a law that safeguards the protection of this fundamental right. With the advent of the internet and the evolution of technology, the European Union saw the need for protection that encompasses the new realities.

It was from this backdrop that in 1995 the European Data Protection Directive was established, stating minimum data privacy and security standards that are implemented differently in each member state.

The GDPR came into effect in 2016 after it was approved by the European Parliament.  On May 25, 2018, all organizations were required to be compliant with the legislature. All of these came about years of evolution and trials by fire. In 1994, the first banner ad appeared online. In 2000, a majority of financial institutions offered online banking. In 2006, Facebook opened to the public. In 2011, a Google user sued the company for scanning her emails. Two months after that, Europe’s data protection authority declared the EU needed “a comprehensive approach on personal data protection” and work began to update the 1995 directive.

Getting a GDPR/CIPP certification

CIPP is an acronym that stands for Certified Information Privacy Professional. It is a certificate that is highly sought-after by the IAPP – International Association of Privacy Professionals. The IAPP is one of the most prominent bodies for data protection professionals. This certification is quite important for people working in this field.

The certification is proof that you have an extensive master of the privacy laws and regulations as stated in the GDPR. The certification is also divided to focus on the variations of the law as implemented in different countries. The CIPP/US is focused on the United States while CIPP/E focuses on Europe. The two certifications are accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

CIPP online training is available to anyone looking to take the certificate course. Professionals can also take CIPP courses and have access to the study guide. During the CIPP online training, professionals are equipped with an extensive comprehension of the GDPR and privacy environment of the US and the UK.

They also learn workplace and government laws, limits to private-sector data gathering, government access to private-sector information, the extent to which information can be used, international data transfers, etc.

What does the certification offer you?

There are many benefits to having a CIPP certification. Because it is such a reputable certification, you stand a good chance of having a competitive edge over other people who do not have this certification. CIPP certifications show that you have an in-depth understanding of data protection laws and regulations. There are many benefits to becoming a certified privacy professional. Below are some of the things the CIPP will do for you:

  • it will give you a career boost
  • It is recognized worldwide and looked at as the standard for privacy professionals.
  • You become recognized as a member of an esteemed group of certified IAPP professionals.
  • The CIPP is a benchmark certificate that sets its holders apart and qualifies them for leadership roles.

This certification is issued by the IAPP when you have successfully completed the exam. The training courses of CIPPtraining.com help you pass the exam in one go.

How to get the CIPP

There are several options to study and take the CIPP exam including CIPP online training and courses. The IAPP offers computer-based certification exams with over 6,000 testing centers around the world. To register for the CIPP exam, simply login to the IAPP website, purchase your exam, and then slate it at the test center most suitable for you. You will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to go about the exam and testing.

The exam for this certification is not easy. On the contrary, it is designed to truly challenge those taking the exam. Despite study tips and techniques that you may use, no proper preparation would lead to bad results.

In the exams, the examinees would be required to use 1.6 minutes per question given the 150-minute time limit. This gives enough time to go through each question and answer them at a relatively slow pace.


In this article, we have been able to cover some major points regarding the GDPR and the CIPP. We have been able to provide you with a first glance at the GDPR and how it came into existence. We have also been able to provide an overview of the CIPP and what professionals stand to gain by having this certification.

For organizations that deal with data collection, especially cloud services who may be directly affected by the legislature, we suggest you read through the 89-page document that is the GDPR. Make sure that you as an organization gain knowledge or consult qualified experts.

Flashcards added to our CIPP/E and CIPP/US training courses!