Data laws made fit for the digital age

Monica Atwal

Strong data protection rules are the basis for a functioning Digital Single Market and for the online economy to prosper.

The United States essentially has no federal privacy regulations around data collection, use and notification. The U.S. has laws protecting data privacy for health and financial records, and and for children.

Though GDPR is created to protect European Union citizens, the nature of doing business online means numerous protections are being extended to people around the world, including Americans.

"To get that adequacy decision, we will have to demonstrate that we offer a level of protection of personal data equivalent to that provided by the GDPR". If not, then then all this perp-work was for nothing and companies could easily just go back to whatever it is they were doing before.

Here's a look at what the rules say and what they mean for consumers in the European Union and elsewhere.

The laws aim to give consumers better control of their own data, including the chance to "opt-in" to sharing that data. It would be natural for people in other countries to ask why Apple feels their data should be treated with less respect.

That all culminated with the official start of the new standards today, and even all those privacy policy updates haven't gotten everything 100% prepared and above board.

In reality, Zuckerberg isn't offering the same protections.

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Millions of email inboxes all over Europe filled in recent weeks with messages from anxious companies seeking explicit permission to continue sending marketing material to and collecting personal data from their customers and contacts.

The law sets out six acceptable reasons to hold your data. Companies are also required to maintain documentation of your obtained consent.

Other companies may have simply warned you that their terms have changed and that you don't need to do anything beyond that. This is to ensure that, if the company is hacked, your data is still safe. Small companies won't be able to afford the millions of dollars in expenses that come with managing and protecting data.

This is not an absolute right - it only applies to personal data you've already provided to a company where either the processing is based on consent or on a contract, or the processing is carried out by automated means.

Under the new rules businesses will now have to get consumers' consent to use personal information. According to a recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute of more than 1,000 companies in the United States and European Union, almost half (48 percent) said that they did not expect to meet the May 25 deadline for GDPR compliance or are unsure when they will achieve compliance. But what does it mean for our human rights and why should you care? From today, you can insist that all your data is permanently deleted.

If you have any questions about your account, would like us to generate an export of your saves, or want to check in on our progress, please let us know at

What happens if a company breaches GDPR requirements?

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