Q: Do the rules apply to SMEs?
A: Yes, the application of the data protection regulation depends not on the size of your company/organisation but on the nature of your activities. Activities that present high risks for the individuals’ rights and freedoms, whether they are carried out by an SME or by a large corporation, trigger the application of more stringent rules. However, some of the obligations of the GDPR may not apply to all SMEs.
For instance, companies with fewer than 250 employees don’t need to keep records of their processing activities unless processing of personal data is a regular activity, poses a threat to individuals’ rights and freedoms, or concerns sensitive data or criminal records.
Similarly, SMEs will only have to appoint a Data Protection Officer if processing is their main business and it poses specific threats to the individuals’ rights and freedoms (such as monitoring of individuals or processing of sensitive data or criminal records) in particular because it’s done on a large scale.
The above FAQ was included on the European Commission’s website, which can be located here: