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Developer view on new EU privacy legislation (GDPR)

Track: Coding and Development | Skill level: Beginner

EU adopted a new regulation concerning privacy called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in spring 2016. It enters to full application during spring 2018 and it adds a lot of new requirements to handling personal data. It also introduces very high fines, up to 20 million euros or 4% of global turnover, so it's to be taken seriously.

It's a complicated piece of legislation, built together after fierce lobbying and a lot of compromises. The end result leaves a lot of things open. One of the new things in the legislation are the direct requirements for the processors of the data. If you're a maintainer of your client's Drupal site, you used to not have any direct requirements set by law, but everything was the burden of the controller. This changes in 2018.

And leaving the EU doesn't help if you're still maintaining EU citizens' personal data.

In this session we'll go through the main items on the legislation from a Drupal developer point-of-view. The speaker is not a lawyer, and the session will not contain any legal advice, but a view on what a Drupal developer might expect coming to her table during the next couple of years. Please remember that there's a lot to interpret in the legislation and the interpretations as well as the upcoming supplementary local legislation could vary a lot between EU countries.

The key items of the presentation are:

  • A brief introduction to the GDPR
  • What are the requirements for the processors (Drupal maintainers in this view)?
  • What technical challenges complying with the law might bring to a Drupal developer?
  • What are the open questions in the legislation from a technical point of view right now?

This is an updated version of the presentation held in DrupalCamp Baltics in October 2016.

Keynote Speakers

Matt Glaman

Matt Glaman

(Saturday keynote)

Matt Glaman is a developer at Commerce Guys. He is an open source developer who has been working with Drupal since 2013. He is author of the Drupal 8 Development Cookbook, maintainer of, and lover of Irish Whiskey.

Twitter: @nmdmatt

Jeffrey A 'JAM' McGuire

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire

(Sunday keynote)

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire—Evangelist, Developer Relations at Acquia—is a memorable and charismatic communicator with a strong following at the intersection of open source software, business, and culture. He is a frequent keynote speaker at events around the world. He writes and talks about technology, community, and more on weekly podcasts and as a blogger on This all helps satisfy his inner diva, which he also feeds with performances as a storyteller and musician.

Twitter: @horncologne

Danese Cooper

Danese Cooper

(Sunday closing keynote)

Danese Cooper currently serves as chairperson of the Node.js Foundation. She also works in an open source role at PayPal. Previously she was Director of the Open Source Hardware Association and CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation. She had brief stint at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a consulting open source strategist. She has been involved with open source since 1999.

Twitter: @divadanese

CxO Day Speakers

Sarah Wood OBE

Unruly Co-Founder (CEO)

Sarah Wood

David Axmark

Co-founder of MySQL

David Axmark

Ben Finn OBE

Co-Founder of Sibelius and CEO at Stealth Poker

Ben Finn

Barney Brown

Head of Digital at Cambridge University

Barney Brown

Professor Andre Spicer

Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School City, University London

Andre Spicer

Paul Reeves

Reevo UN Limited

Paul Reeves



CxO Day

Drupal apprentices

The best people to train new developers are developers

The Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme will be running a London intake in March. If you are interested in hiring an apprentice or know someone who would benefit from the scheme please get in touch via the link below.

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We are also really keen to hear from people who might be interested in mentoring, training and helping us to develop and review training materials to make sure they stay absolutely current and relevant.

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