A major change is on the way in how American companies must handle European citizens’ personal data. The EU recently rejected Safe Harbor rules that would have allowed US companies to manage EU data under existing US law. Now, new legislation will tighten the rules—and the penalties—significantly, to better protect European citizens’ personal data.

As a result, the stakes are being raised considerably for any business dealing with any data on EU citizens. As the EU takes the global lead on ensuring data privacy, the changes coming soon will likely have further reaching implications moving forward. Here are 8 reasons you can’t afford to ignore these new regulations:

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