You must be getting hordes of notices from every organisation that you are a part of right from the large-scale ones like Facebook and Uber to your children’s soccer clubs. The reason for the same is the new stringency adopted by the European Union regarding the raising privacy concerns the world over. It has refused to stay idle any more. The new set of privacy laws are all set to overhaul the internal functioning of the major organisations. You must be well aware of these because the world is a global village in the contemporary times. Technology transcends the boundaries between nations and thus the impact of these laws will be seen on people outside Europe as well.
The Giants of the Silicon Valley including Google and Facebook have been working incessantly to match up to the standards of the new law, General Data Protection Regulation. The online data of the consumers are going to be behind significant defence walls once all organisations implement these changes.
The crux of the law is that it allows people to access the data that is uploaded to them online and also restricts to a significant extent the online presences of big and small businesses alike. With such strong objectives, it doesn’t come as a shock that this law has managed to create unprecedented panic among the big and small businesses with an online presence.
Some countries have already passed similar laws to protect the faith of their citizens in the online world. Brazil, Japan and South Korea are also planning to work soon on the same line of thought. Moreover, the European Union is trying its best to encourage other countries to come up with such stringent data protection measures by not only tying them to substantial trade gains but also by emphasizing that the only way to curtail the interference of the corporate sector in private spheres of the individuals is through global consensus on the issue.
Europe, I determined to cement its role as the foremost watchdog of the world. Nothing holds it back from doing so now that all 28 of the countries in the European Union are now imposing stricter regulations like tax penalties on the online presence of the companies to protect their citizens.
This stand of EU is in sharp contrast to USA’s stance on the issue. Though Trump administration has taken little steps to curtail the influence of corporates, it has primarily tried to shield them from their Chinese competitors.
Thus, we can quickly conclude that EU is much more advanced than the USA when it comes to concerns regarding the privacy of individuals. EU can, in fact, be a harbinger of the future.
G.D.P.R gives the ultimate power to users to restrict what is being recorded about them when they are browsing the world wide web. The information that is recorded about consumers while going through certain websites or while online shopping can not only be seen by the consumers but can also be deleted after requesting the corporations to do so.
Moreover, there should be greater transparency regarding the manner in which the recorded information is going to be used. The bar of using data for advertisements shall also be raised substantially. With such robust measures, the tech giant will run the risk of facing huge penalties which may even amount to $1 billion or more.
European Union is doing all it can to spread the message of the necessity of adopting such measures in the rest of the world. For the purpose, it is dispatching its officials to the rest of the countries to inform and educate regarding the need for such norms. The region, in general, is all geared up to face every tide when it comes to securing data protection. Trade deals are being tied to the message, and the region is not afraid to lose on a market of over 500 million consumers if need be.
One of the countries which have been taking significant steps in this regard is Brazil. Brussels is planning to effectively implement laws regarding data protection which is very much along the lines of the code of the European Union. These measures shall include seeking public consent before recording information online and also special protection for information on political affiliation, religious information, sexual orientation or health. Furthermore, Brazil also aims to restrict the data that companies can share with organisations outside the European Union. The companies will only be able to share data with the organisations which comply with rules and regulations of the European Union in this regard.
European Union has also managed to leave footprints on other parts of the world. Japan has been working on the same concern and has come up with a new online privacy board. The data exchange procedure between Tokyo and Brussels is underway. South Korea is also all set to follow the same path. Israel has also updated its provisions for data breaches. All of these countries share major common points with the steps taken by European Union.
Experts believe that even if tech giants face losses, these rules are a substantial step towards encouraging the European culture of policing industries in favour of the public health and improvement of the environment and should be promoted as such.
One of the major companies which have been under the radar for security concerns, Facebook, has deployed over a 1000 engineers worldwide to look into the issue. The aim is to overhaul the current access of the users to their privacy settings and also to work towards redesigning of specific products that have used up way too much user data than they were initially entitled to. Google is also working its way through keeping Facebook as the guiding light.
In the end, a lot depends on the implementation of these laws. Laws remain merely black and white until they are implemented on the hard ground of reality. There are many factors which depend on one country to another which influence the implementation of the laws. Let’s see what the future holds in this regard.