EU’s New Data Protection Law

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May 25, 2018

What is the issue?

  • The European Union has proposed a new data protection law, which can have potential policy ramification across the world.
  • Notably, the law seeks to prevent the export of personal data outside EU.

What is the EU law about?

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced by the EU recently and it is expected to harmonise data laws across EU member counties.
  • GDPR ensures data protection and privacy for all those living within the EU, and also prevents the export of personal data outside its territories.
  • It deals with three primary areas: personal data collection, its use, and design privacy - although what constitutes personal data remains a little ambiguous.
  • The law demands that clear consent is to be sought from the concerned person to use personal data after providing sufficient information on the same.
  • GDPR changes are expected to drastically alter the landscape for most Internet companies, which are fuelled in every sense by the data of users.
  • Notably, their entire business model of the internet big-wings is based on small bits of data they collect from users.

What are the likely implications?

  • A lot of data is offered voluntarily by users, but often, they are not fully aware of what data they are creating, what they are transmitting, and how it is used.
  • The explicit consent requirement under GDPR hence expected to reduce the volume of data transmitted.
  • While the overall implications are still under study, experts vouch that the effective functionality of some internet services might get affected.
  • GDPR is also likely to bar a lot of Internet services for those under age 16 and also curtail the unsolicited marketing emails.

How does the future look?

  • While Facebook has stated that it would comply with GDPR within the stated deadline of May 25th, most other internet biggies seem under prepared.
  • This could result in a spate of litigations in the coming days.
  • The Worry - “Right of Access” clause that is expected to worry companies the most, as this will make data collection extremely transparent.
  • The clause provides for users to demand internet companies to display all information related to them, which is in the company’s procession.
  • This can be followed through with requests for correction or even erasure, which might affect their business and also prove to be a compliance nightmare.
  • Default Standard - The European data protection standards might end up becoming the default for the rest of the world, even without clear enactments.
  • Notably, Microsoft announced that it would implement GDPR standards to all its customers worldwide, a move to get its backend infrastructure streamlined.
  • If more companies follow suit, it will be good for consumers in countries like India, where user data is still up for grabs for the highest bidder.


Source: Indian Express

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