Okay, I’m pretty sure by now everyone has heard the term ‘GDPR’ countless times and probably feel the same way about the word as everyone does those ‘Go Compare’ adverts. However, even though the new and reformed GDPR law came into force in May this year, it seems that 5 months down the line it still remains up in the air for a lot of people about what GDPR actually is and how liable brands will now be for data breaches, in a way that’s never been seen before.
General Data Protection Regulation is a set of rules designed to give citizens of the EU more authority over how companies use their personal data. These new adjustments have been made in order to mirror our current modern-day world, incorporating new laws regarding our personal data, privacy and consent.
Adaptations must have been made to how almost every company offers services or products to purchasers in the European Union. This implies that even those whose headquarters are located outside of the EU may also be affected, as international communications are extremely common amongst businesses. Companies that don’t follow these new regulations potentially face fines of up to 4% of their company’s yearly worldwide turnover, which for Global companies could mean penalties from £800 million to £19.2 billion.
Here are five ways that GDPR has changed our world:
- Consumer control
As a user, you now have the right to question companies on what data they are holding in your name and also the right to request them to remove it. Whether it be a bank, law firm, advertising company or a creative superhero-run IT company, every firm must comply with this rule.
- Nowhere to hide
Under heavy control and supervision that these rules are being complied with, any business located in the European Union or those trading with people and companies that are, must follow the policies or they could face huge penalties. Huge companies like Google have already made this mistake, being slapped with a whopping £3.8bn fine.
- How data is collected by companies
Regardless of location or identity, if products are available to be sold online, GDPR terms and conditions will affect how companies gather and utilize information from their consumers.
- As a normal person, you probably like GDPR
Whilst companies may not be GDPR’s number one fan, consumers most definitely are. The government’s initiative for passing this law was, as mentioned above, putting the customer in control of their data. This means that spam emails, updates of a new security policies and the ability to remove withheld data, all lies within the hands of the consumer.
- GDPR hurts
The pendulum for the governance of data has swung to the far side – GDPR has proven to be greatly difficult to conform to, particularly for American organizations that do just a teaspoon of business in the EU. It seems that especially for larger organizations such as Facebook or Amazon, that the GDPR police are hot on their tale and are striving to authorize the law.
As customers, I would expect nothing less than the exploitation of the advantages that you have been given. You have the right to explore your withheld data and be in control. You may be completely unaware of what information a company actually is holding on you, or why you get those strange sales calls from Bulgaria at 2am. For companies, it is important to maintain those new regulations that you would have set in stone for your company all the way back in May. Are those hefty fines really worth it?
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