Are EU Citizens Protected by the GDPR If They Live in the US?


In general, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable to European Union citizens residing in the European Union. Does the GDPR still apply if an EU citizen goes out of his country and stay in the United States or some other non-EU nations? Let’s suppose an EU citizen goes on a holiday break in a non-EU nation, how does the GDPR work? One more related issue is what if a non-EU citizen lives in an EU state temporarily? How is the GDPR applicable to a U.S. citizen on a business trip in the EU? How about if for pleasure or schooling? Let’s take a look at each scenario and discover how the rule works.

For EU Citizens Living in the U.S.
The GDPR is really not focused on citizenship. What is important is if an individual is situated or living in the EU. If an individual is living in an EU state, his personal information is GDPR protected. If somebody with EU citizenship exits the EU, he is not protected by the GDPR. When he goes to the US for a trip, for example, and he conducts business with an EU firm that gathers his personal information, GDPR doesn’t apply however the U.S. federal and state legislation would.

U.S. Citizens Living in an EU State
The personal information of anybody who is based in an EU state is covered by GDPR. A U.S. citizen who visits Germany, for instance, and gives his personal information to a company for some good reason, would receive similar GDPR security as an EU citizen.

Is the Specific Location of the Company Important?
The GDPR enforces certain requirements on companies to safeguard the personal information of people living in the EU. Thus, it isn’t important if the company is physically based in an EU state. If a business gathers or processes the personal information of an individual living in the EU, it needs to adhere to the GDPR.

When EU citizens come to the United States and decide to live there, there is no particular law that safeguards personal information privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) merely safeguards the health data of patients and health plan members if gathered, stored or shared by a HIPAA covered entity. An alternative for covered entities to remain compliant with GDPR is to use the same prerequisites and degree of security to all protected heath information just as with personal information. In this way, EU citizens residing in the U.S. can receive similar personal information protection as those residing in the EU.