Are you ready for GDPR?

You have probably heard about GDPR and wondered what the heck does it have to do with you, right? If you are EU citizen and you often check your emails, there is a good chance you know something about Europe’s GDPR. GDPR is a new law expected to take effect on May 25, 2018, and will protect the private data of consumers in Europe. Some people might think that GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, is all about receiving identikit warnings from online companies you have interacted with but that is not the case. It is worth noting that GDPR is not the same as an inbox clogger. Rather it is a legislation that has been drafted for seven years and will come with drastic changes in different fields such as technology, advertising, medicine and banking. This article will let you know what is GDPR and how it will impact your life.

What exactly is GDPR?

GDPR basically refers to a set of laws that defines the rights of online users living in EU countries. The new law will replace the previous policy 1995 Data Protection Directive, which up to today defined the minimum standards for data processing in European Union countries. One of the aims of EU’s GDPR is to give online users more powers over their privacy and data. When EU’s GDPR takes effect today, online users will find that they have increased powers to demand firms to delete or reveal their private information. Consumers will also have the right to ask firms how their private data is collected, used and stored. For the first time ever, regulators will work across all EU countries unlike before when they had to launch separate action in each country. This time, their enforcement action will have more impact on companies that fail to comply with the new laws.

The maximum fine that non-compliant companies will be fined is 20 million or 4% of the firm’s global turnover. To avoid being slapped with hefty fines, companies will have no choice but to comply with EU’s GDPR. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg is one of the many key figures that is expected to attend today’s launch. He will discuss with regulators about the new privacy laws.

Which companies will be affected?

European Union GDPR will affect most companies dealing with EU citizens, but the hardest hit companies will be those that handle large consumer data. This includes technology companies, online marketers and data brokers. In case you bought a phone from an online retailer and you are getting similar product Ads, you have the powers to ask the company to stop using your private data for direct marketing purposes. Some companies may find it hard to adjust to the new law that requires they comply with basic requirements for data deletion and data access. This is because they may not have the necessary tools for data collating. However, the companies that will be affected the most by the new laws are those that use a business model to exploit consumer data.

How will GDPR affect you?

As internet users, you have more powers and right to hold companies accountable more than before. You will be able to know how your personal data is being used by companies and even ask your personal data to be deleted online. GDPR broadens personal data to include browsing history, IP addresses and locations. Let’s wait and see how GDPR will affect online users outside the EU.

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