Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

US firms make changes in response to EU privacy law

US firms make changes in response to EU privacy law

The new European Union data protection framework has three more legal elements that online publishers (i.e - data controllers) need to take into consideration.

Brussels says the new laws put Europeans "back in control" of their data. In the end users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the 'agree"-button-that's not a free choice". And companies like Microsoft and Apple have extended GDPR benefits to all customers worldwide, making the impact truly global with new features like downloading and exporting data, or exercising a "right to be forgotten".

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could once again find itself in hot water with regulators, this time due to new privacy regulations in Europe.

Companies can be fined up to 20 million euros (US$24 million) or 4% of annual global turnover for breaching the strict new data rules for the European Union, a market of 500 million people.

As a result of the regulation, several U.S. news outlets were temporarily unavailable in Europe, reported BBC.

As you continue reviewing your information, each screen will walk you through what data is collected and how it's used, allowing you to make better decisions about Facebook's use of your data.

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What controls if any are in place to limit abuse of that data.

GDPR was ratified in 2016.

What does the GDPR mandate?

Some companies have chosen to go blank in Europe instead of having to comply with the expansive privacy regulations, including websites such as Unroll.me and Klout.

Opt Out. Look for setting or opt-out options. Online publishers also carry the responsibility of obtaining documented consent from the consumer (data subject) on all vendors' behalf, not to mention the real-time management of these permissions. "They don't even try to hide it".

The more sceptical among you may have thought it an odd coincidence that so numerous world's e-commerce and digital marketing companies had suddenly become so concerned about the integrity of consumers' data.

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During a recent webinar hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Brian Kent, chief executive officer and co-founder of Flip.to, explained that the GDPR imposes a strict set of requirements on how and why companies collect and use personal data. It's more like the new Sarbanes-Oxley. "A lot of these companies now force you to consent to the new privacy policy, which is totally against the law".

Also, The Guardian (UK) newspaper reported that Facebook and Google became the targets of the first official complaints of GDPR non-compliance, filed on the day the privacy law takes effect across the EU.

"The laws are pretty much the same as we had before - the big difference that we have now is that they're enforceable", he said, pointing to the high financial penalties envisaged under GDPR, which for large companies like Google or Facebook could run into billions of dollars. The law has been heralded as the world's strongest protector of digital privacy rights. You can also opt out of being shown ads based on your activity on other Facebook-owned products like the messaging app WhatsApp or the virtual reality system Oculus.

A verdict in favour of the companies would allow the tech giants to deny services to those who refuse to divulge certain personal data.

Between January 2017 and March 2018, there has also been a spike in the number of job postings for Data Protection roles, which have seen an increase of 143 per cent, while the number of job searches for the same have risen by 188 per cent.

How are smaller firms affected? But opponents say the new rules are overly burdensome and have warned of costly business disruption.

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There's little doubt the data landscape is becoming more regulated and ultimately the GDPR is good for consumer protection. So it's possible some companies will never be able to fully comply. The other 50%, the report predicts, will try to comply but fail.

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