Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Preston Stone

As Europe's Data Law Takes Effect, Watchdogs Go After Tech Companies

As Europe's Data Law Takes Effect, Watchdogs Go After Tech Companies

Google and Facebook already violated the new data protection law, GDPR, even if it only became active yesterday.

But it has also been blamed for a flood of emails and messages in recent weeks as anxious firms rush to request the explicit consent of users.

The data protection reform is geared towards stimulating economic growth by cutting costs and red tape for European business, also for small and medium enterprises.

Websites that do not disclose what they do with their European Union users' data and how they collect it can be fined up to $20 million euros or 4% of a company's global annual revenue.

GDPR, short for General Data Protection Regulation, is created to give citizens of the European Union greater control over how their information is used online.

The Los Angeles Times' website can't be accessed in Paris.

"We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism", Tronc said in a statement. Also, one of the things GDPR states is that data "should be erasable".

Foreign banks with operations in Taiwan should easily be able to adjust to GDPR as they follow protocols set by their head offices, while domestic banks that do not have branches in Europe are still subject to GDPR if their business involve collecting personal data from residents in Europe, Koo said.

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The International Association of Privacy Professionals found that only 40 percent of companies affected by the GDPR expected to be fully compliant by May 25.

In fact, the privacy rule in Hong Kong is modeled after EU's previous law governing data protection, which was passed in 1995.

The serial Facebook petitioner and the Austrian lawyer, Max Schrems has registered data protection complaint against the social media giant and its subsidiaries. Ensuing litigation may play out in Ireland, where both Facebook and Google have their European headquarters.

He said the problem with all these sites was pop ups that have appeared in recent weeks, asking users to agree to new terms of use, adding that this amounted to a system of "forced consent" from users.

Echoing the concern over data privacy, Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, "Personal data is the gold of the 21st century". Even though the law is only enforceable in the European Union, it regulates tech companies even if they are based in the United States.

Speaking to reporters, Andrea Jelinek, who's in charge of policing GDPR, said: "If there are reasons to warn we will warn, if there are reasons to reprimand, we will do that and if we have reasons to fine, we are going to fine".

The law says individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used. The right to access is also a step towards greater transparency, as it allows individuals the opportunity to view their own personal data that has been collected by an organization or service.

Facebook has been put under increased control over how it uses the data of users after the scandal with Cambridge Analytica.

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