New Privacy Law Makes Europe World’s Leading Tech Watchdog

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The European flag flatters in the wind past the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Today marks the first day of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, a new set of rules meant to give European Union residents more control over their personal data.

The new rules govern not just the collection and storage but its sale and exploitation for marketing - some companies based in the United States have made a decision to stop trading in the European Union at least temporarily rather than risk falling foul of the new law. Confused? Here are five things you need to know about the GDPR, starting with the basics.

Even though the rules were officially adopted two years ago, with a grace period until now to adapt to them, companies have been slow to act, resulting in a last-minute scramble this week.

"Europe's new data protection rules will be a reality tomorrow", said Andrus Ansip, VP for the Digital Single Market in a statement.

Regulators in the USA tried to introduce similar privacy safeguards but were stopped by lawmakers.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes the way companies around the world collect and handle personal data. "We are directing you to our EU Experience".

Which Companies Will It Impact?

Lots of companies are beginning to allow you to download personal copies of the data they've collected on you or that you've stored.

Even Apple - a company famed for its respect for customer privacy - had to strengthen its safeguards in order to meet the extremely high standards set by GDPR. Those right circumstances will take into consideration that an individual has no further commitments to the company - those of you wanting to get your Credit Card accounts deleted will have no joy we're afraid if you have outstanding debt. If a company does not process data as its core business, if they do not sell the data and make money with the privacy of people, they will just have to make minimal changes.

Consumers will now have the right to ask for access to their data to be rectified or deleted. It actually doesn't apply to American citizens, unless they're also resident in the EU. There are probably some businesses that don't realize that their mailing list is global. 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. "IBM has been helping our customers to be ready for GDPR, and beyond that, we are calling on the entire tech industry to adhere to principles of ensuring all AI systems are secure, transparent and keep data private".

Facebook, for instance, has been guiding European consumers through a series of policy updates about the type of data it collects in user profiles, how it can use data collected from outside websites, and its facial recognition services.

"For certain lines of services, such as Platforms, new concepts like Privacy by Design shall be understood at the earliest stage at Mindtree when we design new solutions, as well as when we engage with prospects", Carperntier added.

We've all received emails from companies asking to stay in touch with us for weeks now, but why is it happening?

No, this isn't just happening to annoy you and fill up your inbox.

The noyb complaints will test its entitlement under GDPR to run test cases for users, as well as new co-operation rules between national data protection bodies around Europe.

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