Industry

Max Schrems takes on tech Goliaths in crucial test of GDPR

Max Schrems takes on tech Goliaths in crucial test of GDPR

According to the new chair of the EDPB, Andrea Jelinek, Head of Austria's Data Protection Authority, the Board is fully functioning, despite the fact that not all European Union member states have caught up. "In the past 18 months, we have taken steps to update our products, policies and processes to provide consumers with clear data on transparency and control over all services we provide within the EU", added he. This change will be done if European authorities revise their instructions about constitutes' compliance. And today, the transition stage is over - the GDPR will now be enforced. He explained they must be able to deliver data to anyone who asks for his or her personal data. European regulatory authorities, many of whom say they are under-funded, will oversee the new law, with a central body to resolve conflicts.

What is the worst-case scenario? The other being potential fines of up to 4pc of their global annual revenue.

What is the best-case scenario?

At the very least, those GDPR emails clogging your inbox are a useful reminder of all the websites and apps you signed up for years ago and then forgot about. As many of us know, algorithms are used by websites to determine what we like based on how we interact with their websites.

It also applies to a company established outside the European Union offering goods/services - whether paid or for free - which monitors the behaviour of individuals in the EU. It focuses mainly on data and privacy protection.

Ideally, all the groundwork for compliance should have been finished by now, and items on the compliance checklist should have been ticked.

However, the complaint does acknowledge the fact that doing away with forced consent doesn't mean companies can no longer use customer data - GDPR allows data collection that's absolutely necessary for the service, just that data collected exclusively for advertisement or other commercial purposes needs users' explicit consent.

Benefits also come along with the changes that GDPR will bring.

For those not yet fully compliant, some member state DPAs have reassured companies "acting in good faith" or on the way to compliance that they will initially be treated with consideration. It's tempting, but take a second to read them and look for key phrases. GDPR articles 13, 14, 15, and 22, for example, refer to instances of automated decision-making that produce "legal" or "similarly significant" effects.

The European Commission insisted that it was not responsible for the blackout of some USA sites, saying it was "proud to set high data protection standards" for the bloc's 500 million citizens. Luckily, I found one posted by an organization called International Association of Privacy Professionals.

So far, this has mainly manifested in organisations refreshing their privacy policies and mailing lists, but in future it will require company-wide data management and reporting, and a much greater accountability to customers over how data is kept and used.

Other US websites have shut down entirely, and some have hired consultants to help shut off access for any users in Europe.


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