Why Is Everyone Updating Their Privacy Policies?

The ramifications were visible from day one, with major US -media outlets including the LA Times and Chicago Tribune were forced to shutter their websites in parts of Europe.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion regular users, has also said that advertising allows it to remain free, and that the whole service, including ads, is meant to be personalized based on user data.

Users have lashed out at Facebook and Google for allegedly violating data laws by "forcing" them to consent to privacy policies without an option, while Twitter and Instagram have deactivated thousands of accounts for not signing up to their latest terms and condition by the GDPR deadline.

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the bloc's patchwork of rules dating back to 1995 and heralds an era where breaking privacy laws can result in fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue or 20 million euros ($23.5 million), whichever is higher, as opposed to a few hundred thousand euros. They usually feature handy one-click buttons that most people presumably use just to be able to put this trying week behind them.

Facebook says it's taking new steps to enable users to make choices about the information they share online, and it has released a short film that highlights the company's effort to battle false news.

Like many others, Tantleff said "even I got fed up when I receive 152 such consent emails in one day".

The 99 articles contained in the 88 pages of the GDPR represent the most extensive overhaul of data protection rules in Europe in a generation-and they affect companies and consumers in Europe and beyond, including Canadians.

The right to data portability, so any information companies store about customers can be demanded, and moved elsewhere.

Facebook has been showing pop-up messages to European Union citizens about how it is using their data, and asking for continued access to the information it has on them.

"It's a gradual and not a revolutionary kind of thing".

But it's also not explicitly clear from the policy whether or not it's passing information to its parent company Pinterest, for example, so perhaps it feels it needs to add more detail there. If you leave your address there then it will auto-fill each time you enter a competition and if you win a prize then that address will be passed on to the third party for them to send the prize to, but not for any other goal. They can request to access their personal information stored, and if they so desire they can also choose to suspend or freeze processing of their aforementioned personal information.

Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan said: "We have prepared for the past 18 months to ensure we meet the requirements of the GDPR".

Although Schrems has a point, it is still unclear how European regulators plan to enforce the GDPR statutes.

GDPR comes into force at the right time, with privacy and data protection now high on the political agenda thanks to a number of recent data governance scandals.

You have a right to see all the data a company holds on you. "In a lot of cases they don't need this consent", said Willem Debeuckelaere, Belgian data protection chief and deputy chair of the newly created European Data Protection Board that will coordinate privacy enforcement across Europe. "Is it necessary for me?" said Julian Jaursch, of the Digital Society.

  • Wendy Palmer