GDPR is in effect: now you decide on your digital privacy  


New rules to protect the data of Europeans online and simplify rules for companies handling personal information apply to the EU from 25 May.

Research shows that only 15% of people feel they have complete control over the information they provide online. The new General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) which come into full effect on 25 May 2018 will help to redress this. The rules give consumers more power over their digital presence, including the right to information about how their data is used, and to delete content they no longer want visible online.


As more companies use the data we provide for commercial purposes, GDPR aims to improve the situation for both businesses and people. Consumers will have more control, but companies will also have clearer guidelines to follow.


Privacy concerns


Although Europeans have embraced the opportunities afforded by online platforms, privacy remains a crucial concern. German Greens/EFA member Jan Philipp Albrecht, who was central to getting the legislation adopted in Parliament in 2016, said: “The value of privacy has not been diminished and especially not with young people. They realise why data privacy is important because they are connected with so many people around them that they feel the necessity to be stronger on privacy and data control. GDPR is making that easier.”


The need for such regulation became even clearer after reports surfaced that Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based political consulting firm, had obtained data on 87 million Facebook users without their consent.


The scandal was discussed in the European parliament and resulted in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg coming to the Parliament on 22 May to explain how the company will comply with the new rules.


More control, transparency and accountability  


Many people experienced a surge of emails from businesses asking for permission to process personal data. This is because the rules are designed to give more transparency, something that  Zuckerberg emphasised in Parliament: “In the heart of GDPR are three important principles: control, transparency and accountability.”


Zuckerberg said “We have always shared these values of giving people control of what information they share and whom they share it with. Now we are going even further to comply with these strong new rules. We’re making the same control and setting available to people who use Facebook around the world."


Albrecht said he believed that many companies will take GDPR further to implement the new rules worldwide, as Facebook has promised to do. In a Facebook Live interview he said: “Many businesses are already on track to implement GDPR as their standard, just because it is then also simpler for them. If they comply with higher European standards they will be data protection proofed everywhere in the world.”


Learn more about the new rules in our press release and watch the video above.


What could personal data include? 
  • a name and surname 
  • a home address 
  • an email address such as 
  • an identification card number 
  • location data (for example the location data function on a mobile phone) 
  • an Internet Protocol (IP) address 
  • a cookie ID 
  • the advertising identifier of your phone 
  • data held by a hospital or doctor, which could be a symbol that uniquely identifies a person