Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

How will the new European Union law affect the UAE?

How will the new European Union law affect the UAE?

A group that campaigns for data protection rights in Europe says it's filed legal complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp over the way they obtain users' consent under new European Union privacy rules.

The general data protection regulation, which has come into effect, has prompted a number of prestigious US-based websites including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune to shut off access to internet users in the EU. It says, "Some important settings and updates to review" on top, and then walks users through four topics with an option to change settings.

While this seems straightforward enough, compliance with GDPR can mean big changes for many companies - especially if they have not treated personal data with the respect it deserves up to now.

A spokesman for the Irish Data Protection Commission noted that Mr Schrems's complaints were made to other European Union data protection authorities earlier on Friday and that they would be forwarded to the Irish regulator should they come under the GDPR's "one-stop shop mechanism" that brings matters relating to Facebook and Google to the Irish authority given that their European Union headquarters are based in Dublin.

The group NOYB.EU - which stands for "none of your business" - claims its action could force the US internet giants to pay up to 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion).

"They'll be depending on their corporate customers (who could be considered the controllers) to gain appropriate consent or have other GDPR-reasonable causes for data processing". The law only affects data that is intended for professional or commercial activities.

The rules require more express consent to allow for collection of personal data and include the possibility of fines up to 4 percent of a company's global revenue.

The GDPR will sweep away the EU's outdated privacy legislation and harmonise how data is processed and handled across the region. Picture taken May 22, 2018.

The companies are accused of forcing users to consent to targeted advertising to use the services.

"As you can see, I have my messages there and I cannot read them unless I agree". While companies generally aren't changing what they're doing, they are revising privacy policies to eliminate legalese.

People in the bloc have been bombarded with dozens of emails asking for their consent to keep processing their data, and a privacy activist wasted no time in taking action against US tech giants for allegedly acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access.

The action brought by noyb against Google relates to new smartphones using its Android operating system.

"Almost everything we do - keeping in touch with friends on social media, shopping online, exercising, driving, and even watching television - leaves a digital trail of personal data", said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

A spokeswoman for Tronc did not immediately respond when asked for comment. Ensuing litigation may play out in Ireland, where both Facebook and Google have their European headquarters. These complaints were registered with the CNIL, a French data protection authority, according to the Irish Times.

"Privacy is the default", said Cavoukian. "Now, hopefully, it's going to be cheaper to follow them because the penalties are so high".

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