One of the most contested laws in the European Union’s history, the General Data Protection Regulation has many and far reaching effects. This legislation looked into how companies handled, or not handled, data privacy. The GDPR is applicable not just to companies physically in the EU but also to any US company that handles data of EU citizens.
This law gave people better control of their personal data. Under the GDPR, you have the right to know how your personal data is processed, gain access to the data they have about you, correct incorrect personal data, deny the use of your personal data for marketing purposes, restrict processing of your data in specific cases, data portability (meaning you have the right to ask for your personal data to be usable across different platforms), and you even have the right to request that any decisions being made on how and where to use your data be done by an actual person and not a computer.
In May 2018, GDPR was put into effect and was felt heavily around the world. In the US, California was the first to draft their California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) that further changed the way corporations collect, store, and process sensitive data.
On the first day of implementation, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Google were slapped with lawsuits condemning them for the way they handled private data. And that was only on the first day.
As we enter 2019, what further effects will GDPR have?
One of the predictions would be an even greater effect of GDPR on big data ethics. Imagine all the data companies like Facebook and Google collect when you sign in, take quizzes, sign up for anything and receive emails. The 7 key components of the GDPR outlines what businesses can and cannot do with the data they mined from users. This will prompt data scientists to look at data differently. This will also make companies enforce their own data privacy policies to protect their consumers. We’ve felt that effect in 2018, we will feel that even more in 2019.
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 will go into effect on the first day of 2020. The CPPA differs from the GDPR in several ways. Which means that companies who saw the GDPR as a lone big change, will have to conform to the CPPA where it is applicable. They will need to start creating channels and business lines that will cater to both GDPR and CCPA where it is needed.
There will also be a rise in lawsuits as the ways companies handle data are exposed. This will also bring about complaints about data privacy breaches and requests for investigations. Many big corporations will be on their toes as they navigate the handling of data privacy. Bigger investigations will be done in 2019, seeing as the law has only been in effect for a few months.
In this time of data theft, we need vigilance in protecting our personal data. Should you feel that your private data has been unlawfully collected and/or used, get in touch with a lawyer who specializes in data privacy law.
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