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The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in the European Union in December 2017 and includes rules on profiling of individuals, which are likely to significantly affect online services and tech companies.


  • EU tech companies also risk competition coming from firms based outside of the EU. While the latter are still subject to the EU framework in offering services to individuals in the EU, practical enforcement of the EU rules on non-EU-based companies is likely to remain a challenge.

Features and Benefits

  • This research note identifies the new EU rules on automated profiling based on users' personal data.
  • It describes the potential consequences of a more prescriptive regulatory approach on tech companies' business models.

Key questions answered

  • How will the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation change companies' abilities to carry out automated profiling?
  • What are the potential consequences of a more prescriptive regulatory approach?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Regulating profiling could empower users, but it has potential pitfalls for innovation
  • The GDPR limits profiling and gives end users stronger rights to object to it
  • Companies will have to ensure they obtain explicit consent to profiling from end users


  • Further reading
  • Author

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