Google and Facebook are already abusing GDPR, new report claims

25 May, 2018, 22:44 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • An Instagram dialogue confronting users in Europe

The regulations cover data protection and privacy for everyone in the European Union, European Economic Area, those travelling to the continent or doing business there.

"This, combined with the fact that compliance is rarely black and white, means enterprises must interpret what those GDPR requirements mean for them, and do their own risk assessment and analysis". That means a US website tracking browsing histories of Europeans is affected.

Long-awaited General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect from today, a fact confirmed by the swamping of email inboxes with GDPR-related subscription requests, sowing a mixture of fear, confusion and obliviousness. The EU enacted the law in 2016 but delayed enforcement until May 25, 2018. The opposite feeling spread on the screens of many users: tons of "consent boxes" popped up online or in applications, often combined with a threat, that the service can not longer be used if user do [es] not consent.

GDPR's impact isn't only being felt in Europe: some companies feel obliged to offer the same level of privacy protection to customers beyond the EU.

The group also seeks to halt "annoying and obtrusive pop-ups which are used to claim a user's consent".

Part of this is strategic. If you would rather not have these cookies then you can opt-out of marketing cookies, but you will need to opt-in each time you want to watch a video.

For any business working with GDPR this is an astonishing success rate for resubscriptions and we are very grateful to everyone who has responded. That's an incentive for companies to take these rules seriously.

The short answer is keep a tight lid on customer data.

But it's an open question how the rules will affect visitors to Europe.

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The new regulations give the users of tech companies the right to see what information about them is being collected and also have them deleted if they wish so. (It also has other functions, like putting more responsibility on businesses for stolen or misused personal data.) Though it's a European law, internet-based companies' wide global reach means that they've all had to make adjustments to comply, resulting in the scramble of privacy policy updates you've noticed in recent weeks.

What happens if companies don't apply? "A history of strong regulation of news content means Germany has been much less vulnerable to misinformation campaigns than other countries have".

So what can a USA company do to avoid headaches?

Three years ago, ahead of Schrems' pivotal court battles with Facebook and before most people even knew what GDPR was, we caught up with Schrems during a visit to Dublin. Basically, we are now sending our newsletter nearly entirely to the people who wanted to receive it and read it and this is nearly equal to the number of users who previously received it. Firms have to clarify how long they retain data.

"People ask how to comply in 5 minutes".

Although, of course, not everyone can join in the GDPR fun. Where can I learn more?

The GDPR took effect today, so this guy wasted no time. There are provisions in there mandating that companies think about privacy from the ground up.

"An Overview of the New GDPR" (Proskauer law firm): a handy table of the major provisions and what they do.

You may have noticed your inbox being inundated with emails from companies asking you to review their privacy policies, or asking you to re-subscribe to their mailing lists.

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