Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Europe faces off American technology companies over user data: Who will win?

Europe faces off American technology companies over user data: Who will win?

Had regulation like the GDPR existed before, Facebook users in the European Union would have had legal recourse to pushback against the social media network in the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal, which led to more than 90 million Facebook users' data being compromised. Confused? Here are five things you need to know about the GDPR, starting with the basics.

"A New Zealand business that's doing business in Europe will have to be cognisant of these".

It's much stronger than privacy regulations in the United States. The new rules also require that data should only be used for the goal for which it was collected - this means that companies can not hang onto our data "just in case" they need it later. If you're in the European Union, that is.

It has been widely known that tech companies, like Facebook and Google, will be impacted by the law, but the law's reach extends far beyond the tech sector.

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Under the new regulations, you have the right to access the personal data of yours an organisation processes - this is called a Subject Access Request (SAR) - as well as requesting the information is deleted if you want. So really simply, the GDPR is an attempt to create one set of rules that everyone can follow, and it happens to enact the most consumer-friendly set.

If you're an internet user, chances are you've recently been getting heaps of emails and notifications from your favorite apps and newsletters you might not even remember signing up for, asking you to opt in to keep getting marketing emails. It gives residents the freedom to request that a company delete their data, give them a copy of the data the company has stored online or correct a mistake in the data, all of which are demands companies must comply with.

First, they have to figure out if this applies to them.

Anyone trying to access the sites, which also include those owned by Tronc and Lee Enterprises (examples include Orlando Sentinel [Tronc], Arizona Daily Sun and the St. Louis Dispatch [Lee Entperises]) see a message explaining that the website is working with European authorities on trying to get access back as quickly as possible. There are probably some businesses that don't realize that their mailing list is global.

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Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp are accused of forcing users to consent to targeted advertising to use the services. Even if they switch to a US Apple ID.

Under the GDPR, when users are asked to consent, they should be given a free choice - and it should not be a condition of using a service.

"For certain lines of services, such as Platforms, new concepts like Privacy by Design shall be understood at the earliest stage at Mindtree when we design new solutions, as well as when we engage with prospects", Carperntier added.

That's the hope of a lot of privacy advocates. Seeing as how Facebook has become the go-to place for quick and easy communication between friends and family, it's not something you can just opt out of that easily.

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