If you process the data of data subjects resident in the EU then you are supposed to be bound by the GDPR no matter where you are located.

Why care what the GDPR says if you don't have a presence in the EU?

1 Answer 1


Because most countries enforce foreign judgements

You get prosecuted in the EU and have a fine imposed. If you have no assets in that jurisdiction they give the judgement to a court in your jurisdiction which issues a local judgement and seizes your assets.

  • Really? Why is this extraterritorial jurisdiction so easily tolerated? What basis is the foreign judgment honoured on? Ultimately what is the legal basis for applying EU laws to acts not perpetrated in the EU? Oct 2 at 11:13
  • @JosephP. You don’t have to make your website available in the EU, do you? Yet you can use any high-level domain, like .eu, or that of any of its member states to mislead your target audience. The basis: You can defy enforcing the fine, and see where that gets you in trade with the biggest single Western market of just short of half a billion, 42% and 50% of your export and import respectively.
    – kisspuska
    Oct 2 at 11:35
  • Also, what do you mean “why care what the GDPR says if you don't have a presence in the EU?”!? If you made your GDPR non-compliant website available to EU geolocations from the other side of the border, is like spitting over the fence. Surprised about “extraterritoriality”? If you never made your website available to EU-geolocation IP addresses, you never had presence in the EU, and neither are you the subject of GDPR.
    – kisspuska
    Oct 2 at 11:35
  • No, I am inclined to see it differently. Just because you put pages on a server and connect it to the internet doesn't mean that you're actively marketing or targeting or "making it available to" any other regions at all in particular. As a related thought experiment, could one state control what people broadcast on the radio in a neighbouring country across the border? Oct 2 at 12:13
  • @JosephP. If you are not targeting people in the EU you do not have to comply. For example, if you operate a tree lopping service in Idaho, you do not have to comply with GDPR. But if your service is provided in the EU then you are operating in the EU and subject to EU law.
    – Dale M
    Oct 2 at 12:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.