The GDPR purports to bind any organisation, wheresoever it may be based, that serves individuals based in the EU, or (as the case may be) the UK.

The GDPR governs the obligations of organisations and businesses to the individuals they serve, much as consumer rights legislation governs (likewise asymmetrically) the relationship, rights and obligations between traders and consumers. Meanwhile, anti discrimination laws similarly govern those between individuals and service providers.

But do any of these other types of legislation, in either the UK or the EU, have such extraterritorial jurisdiction/reach?


1 Answer 1


There is nothing extraterritorial about these laws. If a company sells a good or provides a service to individuals based in the EU, then this good or service has to comply with EU laws.

This concept is self-evident for physical goods that are produced anywhere in the world and then sold in the EU and the GDPR just applies this concept to services provided over the internet. The same legal concept also holds in all other major jurisdictions.

The only thing that makes this more complicated for the GDPR is the actual enforcability of these laws but that is a technical issue not a legal one.

  • Okay but does this concept that is supposedly so self-evident also so self-evidently apply to other areas of laws that regulate the relationship between consumers and traders? (Eg: unfair contract term regulations; consumers rights acts; distance selling regulations; anti discrimination laws) Apr 16, 2023 at 20:52
  • 1
    It's not immediately obvious at all. Putin may say that if Wikipedia is accessible within Russia, then any information on it must comply with laws about not spreading misinformation about the so-called "special military operation." Does this argument seem legally credible to you? It's founded on basically the same notion of "services available over the Internet."
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 18, 2023 at 0:42
  • @Obie2.0 There is a difference between simple access and processing of information or establishing a commercial relationship. Even then, the argument you presented does not sound not credible as far as the authority of a state goes. Of course, it is a bad law that breaches the right to freedom of speech and supports unjustified invasions. But it is just as bad even if it targets only individuals and organizations physically in Russian. Now if it demands a non-Russian website to display only "approved information" to other countries as well, that would be an extra-level of bad.
    – xngtng
    Apr 18, 2023 at 9:23
  • @Obie2.0 I personally don't like the consequences in your particular example but yes, this argument seems perfectly legally credible to me. In fact, by this very argument wikipedia is not accessible in China. I would guess that Putin would like to impose that in Russia as well but is unable to actually enforce it (at least in a way that doesn't have side effects that Putin judges to be too bad to make it worthwhile).
    – quarague
    Apr 18, 2023 at 13:29

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