EU’s new data-privacy rule will be felt by many Americans, too

A new sheriff is coming to the Internet. Only this enforcer isn’t riding in from Washington or Beacon Hill, but from Brussels.

On Friday, the European Union starts enforcing its new law on the privacy rights of Internet users, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Already, its effect has been felt across the pond, as US residents are bombarded with e-mails about the measure from companies that do electronic business in the 28-nation European community.