Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation is forcing big changes at tech’s biggest firms – even if the US isn’t likely to follow suit
By Olivia Solon
19 Apr 2018
Despite the political theatre of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional interrogations last week, Facebook’s business model isn’t at any real risk from regulators in the US. In Europe, however, the looming General Data Protection Regulation will give people better privacy protections and force companies including Facebook to make sweeping changes to the way they collect data and consent from users – with huge fines for those who don’t comply.
“It’s changing the balance of power from the giant digital marketing companies to focus on the needs of individuals and democratic society,” said Jeffrey Chester, founder of the Center for Digital Democracy. “That’s an incredible breakthrough.”
Here’s a simple guide to the new rules.
It is a regulation that requires companies to protect the personal data and privacy of residents of EU countries. It replaces an outdated data protection directive from 1995 and restricts the way businesses collect, store and export people’s personal data.
“Consumers have been abused,” said David Carroll, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York. “Marketers have succeeded in making people feel powerless and resigned to getting the short end of the bargain. GDPR gives consumers the chance to renegotiate that very unfair deal.”