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Earlier this month, the world watched as a high-profile tech executive fielded nearly 600 inquiries from U.S. lawmakers on the topics of data privacy and data ownership1. In the wake of the revelation that a political consulting firm harvested the data of roughly 87 million of the tech company’s users in 2016, members of the U.S. Senate repeatedly called the executive’s commitment to data protection into question2.

Amid rising global political pressure to protect and empower citizens in the digital era, the European Union (EU) is set to roll out a significant regulatory change next month. On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will officially replace 1995’s Data Protection Directive as the new global standard on data privacy for all government agencies and companies that conduct business with EU citizens3. When it does, all organizations that control, maintain, or process personal information involving EU citizens will be subject to strict new data protection rules – and failure to comply can result in hefty fines.

Some major differences between the GDPR and its regulatory predecessor include a broader interpretation of what constitutes personal information and language that requires relevant agencies and organizations to provide “reasonable” protection for a wider range of data types4. Now, everything from basic names and addresses, to political opinions and biometric data, fall under the GDPR’s jurisdiction; and the ambiguous meaning of “reasonable” places the burden of compliance squarely on organizations. For many of them, this regulatory shift may require a reevaluation of their current data protection strategies and systems.

As the May 25th deadline fast approaches, Microsoft wants to help your organization confidently get across the GDPR compliance finish line. Over the past year, we’ve been working on business and engineering solutions for GDPR compliance; and we’ve become a leading voice on privacy-related issues with EU regulators. Now, we’ve turned these insights into a series of on-demand videos and in-person events designed to educate you on the latest GDPR-related discussions and enterprise technology solutions. Take advantage of both opportunities to discover how you can get your organization GDPR ready today.

Join us at the Microsoft Technology Center near you for the GDPR Forum. At this in-person session, you’ll learn about the key changes affecting personal privacy, controls, notifications, transparent policies, IT, and training. You’ll also learn how to assess if your company is ready for GDPR across discover, manage, protect, and report, and how Microsoft 365 can help simplify GDPR-readiness. This session is especially geared toward Data Protection Officers, Compliance Officers, Chief Security Officers, and Chief Information Officers.

In addition, take advantage of learning about GDPR-readiness from the comfort of your office with our four-part, on-demand video series. In Countdown: Preparing for GDPR, you’ll hear discussions from top industry experts on GDPR insights, along with some myth-busting. You’ll learn about Microsoft’s commitments and documentation to enable compliance and get a look into some of the features built into Microsoft product offerings.