They’re a fussy bunch those at the European Union, but this time they actually have our backs! You may have begun, otherwise you definitely will begin, getting quite a lot of emails from websites and services you’ve signed up to. The interesting pattern with all of these is that GDPR is a commonly referenced reason for the communication. You’re probably wondering what the heck GDPR actually is, well, let’s get to it.
We do want to point out, we’ve simplified the policy to how it will relate to the majority of users online. To find out the entirety of the GDPR regulations, you can either view a Wiki here, or here’s most of what you need to know;
General Data Protection Regulation
GDPR, in simple terms, is a new regulation that began commission today, May 25th 2018, created May 14th 2018, and took affect in all member states of the European Union. It was created to not only protect unauthorised use of your information, but allow you the right to request and to have active detail on how your information is collected. It’s worth also noting, that should any information be sent to and from these regions from international countries, these rules must also apply to the highest level.
It is worth noting, that due to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union in 2019, the country has been granted royal assent to an equivalent Data Protection Act 2018, which itself took affect on May 23rd, containing similar regulations and protections.
The key factored difference between GDPR, and, just generic, data protection, mostly revolves around the fact that the company or organisation has to clarify with reason WHY they just collected that selection of information from you. This, as you can imagine, does create for some interesting reading when you consider just where your data goes, and the growing pressure on companies such as Facebook on the misuse of information for profit.
The main factor of GDPR is control, wherever you’ve received an Email, message, or physical documentation, in relation to GDPR, that company or organisation MUST offer you access to all information they currently have from you, when it’s EVER being used and, more important to many, WHY it’s being used.
Data encryption is no longer an option, with new GDPR rules. This is a BIG WIN for the consumer, as this protects all your messages, communications and more using these services, to be completely locked down, with the exception of just you and your chosen recipient. This encryption, naturally, also, must protect your information from the company itself. This already was a factor in data protection rules, however, the big difference now is, it’s a requirement, not a choice, whether you would of said yes or not.
How companies may need to change to comply
Whilst companies such as Apple, who already have a tight stance on privacy didn’t have to do much to comply with the regulations, you can likely understand for the companies such as Google and Facebook, it leaves them in an awkward position, reason being, you are their product.
Whilst companies can continue to act as they were yesterday, it is now law, to show clearly to the user, that that is the case. Naturally, a company isn’t going to do that, or if they do, will at least introduce measures to view and control some areas to give them the feeling of control.
“Will anything happen if I ignore the popups, emails, everything?”
If you’re wondering this, don’t. You received communication from the company as it’s now a requirement for them to do so. This doesn’t mean, by ignoring it, you and only you won’t have any protections as you didn’t check out the companies website etc, the policy is in affect right now and protecting you regardless.
What the communication was designed for, however, was to offer you their second requirement, a transparent guide, or information, on what information they have, and what you can do to remove it, get a copy, and control.
This is just the beginning of a lot of rules and regulations the European Union has proposed, though it’s pretty interesting to see a number of companies considering making the rules international, by choice, which is something very encouraging.
Granted, the dark side of that, companies such as Facebook and Google are now already getting sued for violations of the act, which is pretty crazy!
To close, and in a nutshell, it’s Data Protection mark 2, with much tighter controls on the big companies at the top, all to protect how your personal information is both used, protected, and held.