GDPR – the regulations

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) regulation regarding personal data. The aim of GDPR is to protect individual privacy and empower individuals so that they have greater control over how companies or organizations that offer goods or services to EU citizens, no matter where they live in the world, use and share their personal data.

Examples of personal data that may be covered under the GDPR are as follows:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Email address
  • Posts on social networks
  • IP address

When does the GDPR go into effect?

25 May 2018


How does GDPR affect IEEE?

To ensure compliance, as well as respect the privacy of all individuals, IEEE has decided to apply GDPR standards to all individuals and not only European citizens.

IEEE has been carefully reviewing and redesigning our privacy policy, business processes, and how we collect, use, share and retain the personal data of our members, customers, volunteers, and professional staff worldwide.


Impact to IEEE Volunteers

We value your contribution to IEEE and strongly believe in ensuring any use of personal data by you, in your IEEE volunteer role, is compliant with the GDPR.  To do so, IEEE has worked toward making the necessary updates needed. Many of these items are either completed or in progress.   

IEEE needs to ensure that all current data is compliant with GDPR.

  • All mailing lists, email address data, etc. collected in the past without consent will need to be deleted or become compliant.
  • In addition, instructions will be provided to collect explicit consent for some types of communications you conduct in your role as an IEEE Volunteer.
  • Guidance on what and how to collect personal data and how to handle that data in a compliant fashion.


What is the plan for training and awareness for IEEE Volunteers?

IEEE will be providing solutions and training to its volunteers for the new compliance regulations.  Look for updates within newsletters that you currently receive from IEEE.


How Will this Affect Me?

What does GDPR mean to me?

IEEE values our relationship and we care about ensuring that your privacy is protected under these new regulations.  We want to make sure we continue to provide you with IEEE updates, information on new products and services, and various other opportunities that you receive from IEEE today.

You will be required to consent to our privacy policy in order:

  • To continue to receive various communications from IEEE
  • For IEEE to be able to process your personal data

What does consent mean? 

Consent means that you allow us to use your personal data, as outlined in the privacy policy, and so that we can provide information about IEEE activities that you are interested in.


 What choices will I have when asked for consent?

  • You will hold the right to object if IEEE is processing data for direct marketing
  • You will hold the right to be forgotten
  • You can consent to IEEE using your data for the purposes stated when your personal data was collected.

 What is being done to ensure IEEE is compliant with GDPR?

  • Inventory existing applications that collect, process, or store personal data
  • Create new processes where necessary
  • Update existing processes to comply with GDPR
  • Prioritize applications that need updates and recommend changes where needed
  • Add language and checkboxes where data is collected to gain explicit consent
  • Engage in communications to gain explicit consent from people in existing databases


Is it expected that other countries will follow the trend and create their own version of GDPR? If so, how will this affect IEEE?

Other countries have already created regulations similar to the GDPR and additional countries are expected to follow the trend in the future.  IEEE believes that by treating all individuals interacting with us as if the GDPR were applicable to them now we will be able to more easily respond to any additional requirements in the future.


Visit the IEEE Support Center to browse the IEEE knowledgebase for answers to frequently asked questions about GDPR, submit a question, or chat with a Contact Center Associate, available to assist you 24/5, Sunday 4:30pm – Friday 4:30pm.