I just spoke on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at the end of June on a panel at the Drug Information Association’s Annual Meeting. The GDPR goes into effect on May 25, 2018 and has significant implications for many U.S. based businesses.

The impetus for the GDPR stems, in part, from the recognition that current and emerging technology means more globalization of individual information and data — and more consequences for consumers from that.

That globalization of data has been long recognized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC and other consumer protection agencies from 60 other countries recognize that scammers have the means and will to target consumers world-wide. So the FTC and these other agencies have created the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). Consumers who think that they are, or may have been, a victim of an international scam can go to the ICPEN website (www.econsumer.gov) and file a complaint.

The FTC has posted a very informative article about the ICPEN website and these international efforts (www.ftc.gov; “FTC and Other Consumer Protection Agencies Unveil Updated Website for International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network”; June 30, 2017).

The world is becoming smaller all the time. So consumers need to know about the ICPEN resource.