Written by Lea Ferbos and translated by Roxana Iordache |
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the EU Data Protection Directive issued in 1995. The central idea of this directive remains the same: “privacy by default” or, in other words, the individual’s right to privacy. Following the rapid adoption of the Internet, it was necessary to update the texts concerning the use of data.
This four-year regulation issued by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe takes effect on May 25th 2018. The regulation gives every individual user more control over their personal data and forces companies to make sure the way they collect, process, and store data is safe. It took seven years to get the final document of the “right to be forgotten” law, but let’s see who is actually affected and how.
Who is affected?
In short, everyone who collects customer data and offers customer services: companies, administrations, and associations is concerned. This includes multinational firms, but also skilled workers and the SME (small and medium enterprises).
Every company collects personal data about its customers (purchases, security preferences, and so on). Data that, until now, has remained rather opaque for customers. Who knew exactly which information the databases had about us? Now, a customer’s privacy information can be completely erased at their request and their name can also be removed from any search engine.
The EU hopes to achieve a fundamental change towards transparency in the way companies think about data. As customers, we are the recipients of a safer, easier, and more controlled handling of our data. We can decide which information to give and how it should be kept. Our data is secure and our rights are preserved. The penalties for companies who fail to comply with these new rules are increased to up to 4% of annual global sales.
The great thing about all this is that everyone can now control the trace they leave online; an essential requirement for our daily life where websites, new technologies, and digital processing are omnipresent.
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