GDPR Is Here, And There Is No Fine Grace Period

GDPR Impact on the Middle East

Noyb filed a claim against Google relating to its Android operating system with French authorities, a complaint against Instagram with Belgian authorities, a complaint against WhatsApp in Germany and a suit against Facebook in Austria. The first is that companies need your consent to collect your data.

The organization suggests that forcing users to accept data collection measures in exchange for the possibility of using the service contravenes the new rules imposed by GDPR. "In the end, users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the "agree" button-that's not a free choice; it more reminds of a North Korean election process", Schrems mentioned in a public statement.

The new rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, strike at a core element of businesses that offer free content online but that make money by collecting and sharing user data to sell targeted advertising.

We've reached out to all the companies involved for comment and will update this story with any response. Evershed said the new rules will require many companies to "bite the bullet" on hiring chief data officers. Others, however, saw a public relations opportunity, presenting changes in policies and terms as a win for consumers, giving them more transparency on how their data is used and controlled. A privacy group, noyb.eu, led by activist Max Schrems filed the complaints.

Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed several multi-billion euro complaints in courts around Europe against Google (Android), Facebook, and two Facebook subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram [complaints, PDF] Friday-the same day as European Union data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [official website], went into effect.

The law says individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used. It imposes stiff fines for data privacy violators, up to €20 million or 4% of an organization's annual global revenue turnover, whichever is greater.

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This law is only in effect in the European Union because the digital world has no boarders, companies in the US have to follow the rule too.

"We expect all companies to fully comply with the General Data Protection Regulation as of today".

But make no mistake about it, the suits have merit. While its main thrust is to enhance citizens' rights by strengthening the obligations on those who use personal data, the impact of stronger data protection laws will be considerable for telecoms, media and digital industries.

In Finland, the government says it has been contacted by households asking whether the law means they can no longer email invitations for a child's birthday party. Which, well, isn't much of a choice given how powerful the network is.

Google officials, speaking on Thursday to 70 media and advertising firms at its New York City office and on a private telecast, described compliance efforts as a work in progress and said the company ould release additional tools to assist publishers in June and August, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussion.

Speaking to reporters, Andrea Jelinek, who's in charge of policing GDPR, said: "If there are reasons to warn we will warn, if there are reasons to reprimand, we will do that and if we have reasons to fine, we are going to fine".

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