The European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are due to come into effect on 25MAY18.

Ever since the announcement that the BoG was working on ensuring GDPR compliance, we have been tirelessly working on what this means to us and what impact it will have.

We have developed a new draft Privacy Policy that members will have to agree to. We have drafted a new policy that sees tighter requirements for staff members with access to the CERT server (that contains personal information) and how that information is used. We are finalizing changes to the VATSIM User Agreement and other policies.

The Tech Team are working on the technical changes to the website and integrating these changes into both new and existing memberships. The team is also updating the message sent by the VATSIM servers when you join as a pilot or ATC.

We have had to review the age limits for VATSIM, with the only major change being parental consent requirement for members under the age of 16 as this is a requirement for GDPR. The minimum age will remain 13.

As GDPR will not only apply to the European Union, it also applies to any European citizen anywhere in the world, we have made the decision that all changes we make will be universal, irrespective of location or citizenship. This ensures that all members are afforded the highest level of data protection for the data we store.

There are many other background changes being made that the majority of members will not see.

The next step is to for the BoG, through me, to make contact with our Regions and Divisions to advise them about what changes they need to make in order to be compliant with how they use and store VATSIM data, supplied by VATSIM. This is later than planned as I have been away on business for the past three weeks with limited time and internet access.

We believe that we are in a very good position to ensure compliance on 25MAY18 when GDPR is introduced, but like most other holders of online data and personal information, know and accept that there will be some teething problems and our implementation will need to be fluid to review things as they happen in the GDPR space, not only for VATSIM but as it affects online data in general.

Mark Richards - VP Operations