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GDPR and Namibian Companies

In short – yes. The European Unions’ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which applies as of May 2018 – has hit the world like a tornado, and Namibia can no longer hide. The new GDPR, which replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/ec, aims to protect the personal data of EU Citizens regardless of where and how they are interacting with the world.

Keep calm and comply with GDPR
Keep calm and comply with GDPR

Up to now, when dealing with EU Citizens, you had to deal with 28 different data protection laws. For many companies looking to access new markets this fragmented created costly administrative burdens. It also made the regulation of this law almost impossible and rather cumbersome.

The new regulation aims to cut red tape at the same time ensuring the protection of EU Citizen’s data.


How does this apply to us in Namibia?

According to the GDPR, the same rules will apply to both companies established in the EU or outside the EU. All companies processing the personal data of individuals based in the EU offering services or products will have to comply with the EU data protection rules.


How do I know if I need to comply?

  • Do you sell products to EU citizens, when they are on holiday in Namibia?
  • Do you own a tour company who provide tours to EU citizens who visit Namibia?
  • Do you provide accommodation to EU citizens;
  • Do you own a website or any cloud based portal that is not hosted in Europe?
  • Do you send emails to EU Citizens?
  • Do you send newsletters to EU Citizens?
  • Is your website or any cloud based portal accessible to EU Citizens?
  • Do you work with EU Suppliers?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will need to comply to the GDPR.


What happens if I do not comply?

While the GDPR applies from May 2018 a deadline of May 2019 has been given by the EU, which means all companies (world-wide) are given a grace period to comply before May next year. The Namibian Data Protection Authority monitors compliance; their work is coordinated at EU-level. The cost of non-compliance is rather steep:

  1. Warning
  2. Reprimand
  3. Suspension of data processing
  4. Fine: Up to 20 Million Euros or 4% of your companies Global Turnover.



Below are a couple of additional resources for more information about GDPR:

  1.  A new era for data protection in the EU – What changes after May 2018?
  2. EU Data Protection Reform: better data protection rights for European citizens
  3. It’s your data – take control
  4. Seven steps for businesses to get ready for the GDPR
  5. EU Data Protection Reform: a concerted effort to make it work
  6. The GDPR: new opportunities, new obligations

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