EU GDPR Just Rolls Out Today, Facebook, Google Already In Hot Waters

Joanna Estrada
May 28, 2018

Facebook is among the first companies to be hit with a complaint under new European Union privacy laws.

European Union regulators have always been much tougher on the tech companies than their US counterparts, for instance forcing them to give users more control, imposing fines for noncompliance and requiring platforms to spot and delete illegal content.

This, the organisation suggests, falls foul of the new rules because forcing people to accept wide-ranging data collection in exchange for using a service is prohibited under GDPR.

The countries that have so far adopted new national laws include Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Croatia.

It also introduces some hefty fines for firms that flout the law: e20million (R292m), 4% of annual global turnover, or whichever is greater.

In its own statement, Google said: "We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation".

While the updates are mainly lengthy pieces of legalese, there are some important gems hidden in the middle.

So how much will be an internet company be penalised for being loosey goosey about the users data?

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came to life yesterday, and a couple of United States tech giants are already being accused of breaking the law. So the pop-ups and emails you've been seeing most likely have a request for consent buried somewhere deep inside.

It's easy to opt in.

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.

Vice said that the GDPR will have a significant impact on tech companies because they have relied so heavily on algorithms to provide bespoke experiences for users so that they will stay on sites longer and click on personalized ads or buy more products. Few news sites whose services remained affected in European Union region are - The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun.

According to Kent, hoteliers may not be able to continue using their marketing databases if they are not GDPR compliant. Microsoft also has a Service Trust Portal, an online site that serves as a compliance resource center, as well as a means for organizations to take actions on their stored data.

If you've already deleted the messages, you may have missed but check your trash or deleted messages to see if you can retrieve them.

Well, it might be a little more hard to find them again, sorry.

Other US websites have shut down entirely, and some have hired consultants to help shut off access for any users in Europe.

"The only way is to really accept it, otherwise you can not use your Facebook anymore", Schrems explained.

Consider Twitter. The social media company's recent privacy-related email mentioned that people can now more clearly see and control how their data is shared with its business partners. The good thing is it's now up to you.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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