We’ve updated our privacy policy. You’ve probably received hundreds of emails in the last few days from companies scrambling to become GDPR compliant before the May deadline (and Debating Europe has, as it happens, recently updated its privacy policy).

On 25 May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. Companies in breach could potentially be fined up to €20 million, or 4% of their global annual revenue for the previous financial year, whichever is higher. The GDPR represents the most comprehensive set of data protection rules currently in place in the world.

The EU is not a military superpower. It is, however, arguably a regulatory superpower. On data protection, Europe is visibly leading the pack, and other countries may soon adopt similar rules. In the US, lawmakers are already considering GDPR-style regulations in the wake of congressional hearings with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about data protection.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been criticism. There has been widespread confusion about what is and isn’t covered by the GDPR, and some companies (particularly Small and Medium Enterprises) have withdrawn from the European market or shutdown operations entirely rather than absorb the costs of compliance. There are also worries that diverging regulatory regimes may start to break up the global internet into regional or national chunks, governed by different rules.

Nevertheless, the counterargument is to wonder what precisely companies were doing with our data that prevents them from operating in the European market? Furthermore, proponents argue that data based on explicit consent from users will anyway be much more useful to companies, because it will be gathered from individuals who are engaged and interested in your company and its services.

What do you think of the GDPR? Should countries around the world follow Europe’s lead and implement their own versions of the GDPR? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Dennis van der Heijden


9 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Ivan

    It’s just more pointless rules invented by Brussels to try and give itself a fake legitimacy. Practically nobody will read them & will just click though it, a lot of companies are just ignoring it and even if the data collected is done so legally there is nothing to stop the collector from selling it on afterwards.

  2. Éamonn

    The Irish Government handed the data of EVERY citizen over to a utility company without their consent.

    This is completely pointless.

  3. Boyko

    Brussels political impotence creates more dumb but expensive regulations. We already get spam starting with, “Regarding our phone conversation….”

  4. EU Reform- Proactive

    “……arguably a regulatory superpower.” Certainly!

    Good start & well done this time. Hope its effective to protect even casual internet users. Finally, EU GDPR finality after 6 years!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

    Should be a serious deterrent- globally- to all rogue IT & AT analytical sniffing wiz kids!

  5. Ivan

    Do you need proof the EU is a dictatorship ?, here it is.

    Germany’s EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger speaking to DW News and claiming that the ‘markets will teach the Italians to vote for the right thing’.

    Goodbye democracy, goodbye.

  6. PiEi

    Imho this monstrosity of regulation is giving competitive edge for large companies against small ones. The fines for violating GDPR can immediately bankrupt any small – middle sized company.

  7. catherine benning

    GDPR is here – but is it enough?

    This will do nothing to those who are stealing our information without our knowledge, or even with it, and selling it on or using it to ensnare the innocent.

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