How Europe’s GDPR Data Protection Law Affects Everyone

If you have a Facebook account or 10 other online accounts, you’ve most likely received an email regarding changes in privacy policies. This is all because of the European Parliament’s new law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Changes Due to the GDPR

Back when there was no GDPR, each of the 28 countries had control as to how exactly it would follow the European Union’s (EU) data protection standards. The GDPR is primarily for the welfare of these member states, but it affects pretty much the entire online world.

Simply put, the law makes changes in how data is gathered and utilized. With its enactment, member states can no longer differ from one another in implementing data protection measures. They must all follow the same procedures to keep cyber threats in check.

Individual Concerns

People who live in member states of the EU can exercise several rights concerning their digital information. They already had data protection back then, but that was implemented way back in 1995 — and a lot of technological changes has already happened between then and now.

People don’t have to do anything apart from acknowledging the policy changes sent to their email accounts. With the GDPR in effect, companies cannot prevent users from accessing data concerning themselves.

More importantly, people have the right to know how the data they provide is being used. You can tell companies that you don’t want them using your basic information to develop their marketing strategies.

EU citizens also have the right to correct any data inaccuracies. Plus, you have the right to get rid of your data. This seems hard to imagine, but the GDPR gives you the freedom to have your online self completely erased.

Even if the law sounds promising, everyone should still exercise caution online. For one, availing of VPN protection from hackers adds another layer of digital security. After all, laws can only do so much when there are many ill-intentioned people on the Web looking to steal valuable data.

Regulation and Exceptions

Not all forms of data come with the rights assured by the GDPR. Any information needed for national security or statistical reports are not part of it. But for the most part, most entities have to follow the regulations set by the new law.

Any company that does not abide by the rules will face consequences if they’re caught by any Data Protection Authorities, which every EU member state has.

Affecting Regions Outside the EU

People residing in non-EU nations will still feel the effects of the data protection law. Why? It’s because any business that has clients from or operations EU member states have to comply with the GDPR.

A company does not need to have its headquarters located in Italy or France, for example, to follow the EU law. As long as someone from the EU provides their data, the business must change its privacy policy in accordance with the GDPR.

The GDPR has brought about many changes toward the betterment of data security. What matters now is how exactly it will be implemented and ensured given the scale.