• 26 Feb 2018

In May 2018, the new European regulations will come into effect as part of the data protection law. However, the Fine Arts market does not seem prepared to bear the consequences.

This image represents the European Union flag.

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An outdated law

On May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an organization that is part of the European Union, will legislate in favor of a regulation which aims at protecting the citizens’ privacy and personal data. As a result, the 1995 directive currently in place will be updated. The idea is to give individuals the possibility to control the way their personal data is used by corporations more. In fact, firms that won’t respect the new regulation could receive a fine that could go up to 4% of the turnover or 20 million Euros. Until the United Kingdom effectively leaves the European Union, the directive will apply to the country. Nevertheless, only a minority of galleries and Art organizations started to get ready to the arrival of the new directive.

The unprepared Fine Arts market players

The Fine Arts market does not seem to realize how much the new regulation is going to impact its functioning. Indeed, several players remain outdated. In fact, the Society of London Art Dealers hired lawyers to deal with these questions and warned its European counterparts. Its director, Christopher Battiscombe said “[it] is still not entirely clear what dealers need to do to comply with it, for example in respect of mailing lists.” The question also remains for the galleries’ clients and networks historic data. However, the online selling platforms as well as the auction houses seem much more reactive when it comes to it.

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The regulations expected effects

The new regulation essentially focuses on individuals’ personal data and not organizations. Nonetheless, employees within organizations are part of the new European directive. The data that is stocked in the cloud will be controlled more severely. The Fine Arts market players have to be careful about their general conditions of use which have to comply with the new regulation, which can also impact their relationship with their clients. However, European legislators remain unclear in their words and several Fine Arts market players are struggling to adapt. All organizations and firms of the European Union have until May 25th 2018 to update their way. Even though the Fine Arts market is not likely to be the first one to be investigated, reactivity is still a necessity.

This picture by Pexels represents the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

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Read our article about the last Vincent Van Gogh exhibition at the Tate Museum here.

Sources: The Art Newspaper and GDPR