Tech firms 'blackmailing' users over GDPR — EU's Giovanni Buttarelli

The complaints were filed hours after the General Data Protection Regulation came into force

The complaints were filed hours after the General Data Protection Regulation came into force

The GDPR, for the unaware, is a set of new regulations that aim to give European Union consumers more control over how their data is used online.

The law will affect all of the EU's 28 member states and a host of major companies that collect and store data on the citizens of those countries.

They've good reason to be anxious.

The problem is that over the last few years, lots of companies have been caught failing to protect-or outright abusing-your personal information. The opposite feeling spread on the screens of many users: tons of "consent boxes" popped up online or in applications, often combined with a threat, that the service can not longer be used if user do [es] not consent.

The EU has taken a dim view of the situation and is using the GDPR to try and rectify it.

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Users in the United States will benefit from changes companies that operate in the European Union made to comply with the new law.

What is Considered Personal Data?

General Data Protection Regulation will impact the way personal data is manages across the globe.

This is far from a complete list.

You also now have more opportunities to make a compensation claim for a misuse of your data. In certain circumstances, your hair color may be enough.

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What Does the GDPR Do?

Many other companies, like Facebook, have issued a weaker statement, saying that they will offer similar protections to those in other countries, but haven't promised GDPR standards.

The right to rectification: This means you can change that personal data if it's incorrect. Companies have one month to comply.

As part of a wider effort to promote better data practices in industry and society in general, the ICO has launched a public information campaign - "Your Data Matters" - which is aimed at increasing the public's trust and confidence in how their data is used and made available. For example, users can now request that a company delete the information it has stored about them or correct it if it's inaccurate.

The right to data portability: Data subjects have the right to take their personal data from one service and use it with another. Firms have to clarify how long they retain data. Where the breach is likely to result in a "high risk" to fundamental rights, the individuals affected must also be informed. One of the lawful reasons is that they've obtained consent to use it for a specific goal, but there are others like they need it to comply with legal obligations or that collecting it is in the public interest. The old days of just collecting everything they can and hoping they find a use for it later are gone-at least in Europe. These could run into billions of pounds and be as much as four per cent of a firm's global turnover.

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What Does the GDPR Mean for Americans?

While the idea of being banned from reading news did not sit all too well with Europeans, some of the top U.S. outlets preferred to stay barred in Europe rather than agree to the new set of privacy rules. "So really, Facebook can infer things from the great amount of data it has about you from across your mobile devices and apps that also send data to Facebook". "Most importantly, you should have meaningful control over both". Meanwhile, Facebook and Google are already facing complaints over violations of the brand new regulations, thanks to privacy activists who were standing by to nail them as soon as GDPR went into effect. That includes most of the popular tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Spotify, as well as many other consumer-facing and non consumer-facing businesses. In that case, it's often hard to tell when a company is just covering its own ass for totally normal purposes or planning to do something nefarious, and that ambiguousness isn't exactly an accident.

"Facebook has even blocked accounts of users who have not given consent", he adds.

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