A new era in global data privacy begins today

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The emails cluttering your inbox this past week with privacy settings updates are happening for a reason: A sweeping new European data privacy law goes into effect today that is having a profound impact on American businesses.

Why it matters: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which the European Commission passed more than two years ago, was at first largely ignored by U.S. companies and regulators. But it's now becoming the global standard for how businesses mine and use consumer data, in part because of recent data breaches and scandals, like Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook data.