We’ve all had to deal with that pesky warning about cookies when we open a site, but recently, it seems like every single site in the world has got one. These warnings are actually one of the consequences of GDPR, a regulation that protects your personal information. Here are the details.
What Is This Law?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law protecting the data rights of all residents of European Union member states. It also harmonizes data protection regulations across the EU, increases fines on data misuse, and makes it easier for people to find out what data various establishments have on them. Its main goal is to deliver greater transparency to Internet users about the data being collected and what this data can be used for, as well as making it possible to prevent unnecessary collection of information.
Since When Does it Exist?
The GDPR became effective worldwide on May 25 this year. While many of its rules are similar to the ones within the Data Protection Directive of 1995, which also applies throughout the EU, the latter came into effect long before the Internet was what it is today. Back then, there weren’t even any social media sites.
Countering Data Misuse
Global networks like Facebook and Twitter have collected infinite amounts of personal data of users – names, telephone numbers, emails, and a host of personal preferences, ranging from sexual to political. The need for a law like the GDPR became apparent as the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded, where millions of Facebook users’ public profile data was used without their knowledge for purposes surrounding the US election in 2016.
Reducing Protection Compliance Costs
Another goal of the GDPR is to make it cheaper and easier for businesses to comply with data protection regulations. The 1995 DPD enabled EU countries to interpret rules as they wanted when applied locally. With the GDPR, this won’t be possible because it applies directly, being a regulation and not a directive. The likelihood of wide interpretation thus becomes minimal. EU authorities have gone on record saying this would save companies over 2 billion euro a year.
Scope of the GDPR
The GDPR applies to almost every establishment that has access to EU residents’ personal data. All staff and client data must be processed in compliance with the regulation.
Organizations outside the EU are also bound by GDPR provisions if they have access to data of persons residing on Union territory. This includes making sure people know their data is being processed and understand the ways and the reasons it is being processed.