Although not a member state of the European Union (EU), Bosnia and Herzegovina has applied the new EU law on the consumer data protection, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR has come into effect on May 25, 2018 and is thought to be one of the most robust data privacy laws in the world, giving people the right to ask companies how their personal data is stored and being used, and also request that the personal data be deleted.
The entry into force of the GDPR in May 2018 was immediately recognized by business entities in Bosnia & Herzegovina who process data of data holders from the EU in accordance with Article 3 of the GDPR, i.e. through activities related to offering goods or services to data holders in the EU, or monitoring their behaviour as long as it takes place within the EU. In addition, another reason for the increased interest of BIH business entities for GDPR and effort to comply with its requirements, are the extremely high fines imposed in cases of abuse of data that can even reach up to EUR 20,000,000 or up to 4% of the total annual turnover of the previous financial year on the global level, depending on which amount is higher.
It is clear that the entry into force of the GDPR definitely had a positive effect on Bosnia & Herzegovina, considering that many business entities, being controllers or data processors, began to devote much more attention to data protection and adjust their businesses to the demands of the GDPR, having in mind that it is not enough for them to be aligned only with local legislation but also with the requirements of the GDPR.
Naturally, throughout the process of compliance with the requirements of the GDPR, the most prominent are big organisations that process large amounts of data. However, it is encouraging that small enterprises, not only those with foreign founders, are also compliant with GDPR and give their contribution to the general improvement of citizens’ awareness when it comes to the importance of personal data and privacy protection.
Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, obliging itself to harmonize its own with the legislation of the European Union.