Happy GDPR Day! Google, Facebook hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits

Posted May 28, 2018

Brussels says the new laws put Europeans "back in control" of their data.

Though the GDPR is aimed at protecting user data in the EU, Facebook has come under fire for its breach of trust with its user base due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal - where data was hijacked from 87 million users without their consent.

While the rest of us slept on Friday morning Max Schrems - the Austrian privacy campaigner, Facebook tormentor and Irish court loyalty cardholder - threw a wrench into the gears of the U.S. social network and its arch rival, Google.

"All of them basically have a situation where you have to consent to the privacy policy otherwise you're not allowed to use their service".

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European privacy regulators signalled that they were ready to flex their muscles but were not "sanctioning machines".

Privacy advocate Max Schrems said: "Many users do not know yet that this annoying way of pushing people to consent is actually forbidden under GDPR in most cases". The General Data Protection Regulation shields all firms that contract with information of European Union residents, so it is a precarious rule for business obedience officers at banks, guarantors, and other economic firms.

The new law stipulates that any company with a digital presence in the European Union will have to comply with the law or face steep penalties. Further, a consumer can also transfer the data regarding herself from one company to another, and instruct the former to delete the same, which is of particular relevance to healthcare providers, insurance companies etc. GDPR also requires a firm to inform a client within 72 hours in case of a data breach.

"It's a gradual and not a revolutionary kind of thing ..." Buyers are required to hand over their data or else own "a 1,000-euro brick" that they can't use, Schrems said.

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This regulation, which has been in the making for seven years, replaced the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which was formulated well before firms like Facebook engaged in large scale data collection and profiling.

Studies suggest that many companies are not ready for the new rules. IBM has released a white paper outlining some key ways that blockchain technology can be used to support the goals of GDPR and enhance compliance. On Thursday, Google said it would potentially change some of its new GDPR-inspired policies if European authorities revise their instructions about what constitutes compliance, according to meeting documents seen by Reuters.

The new regulation, which comes into effect on May 25, 2018, will be a hot topic at the upcoming Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), happening at the Hyatt Regency Miami from June 22 to 24, and will be tackled during one of the Professional Development Sessions at the conference.

"I think the data portability rights are pretty significant and are going to take a while for people to figure out what the bounds of them are and how to go about complying with them", said David Hoffman, associate general counsel and global privacy officer at Intel. While a user seeking to exercise the data portability right would be able to move playlists he or she created, the situation becomes fuzzy if the playlists are created by the streaming service using algorithms.

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Delete. This tells you if you can delete your information.