GDPR, say what now?
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new law in the European Union regarding electronic data collection and storage that goes into effect on May 25, 2018.
And it is a good thing.
All countries in the EU now have one set of rules for dealing with electronic data. They are trying to protect the individual and his data.
Among the many provisions:
- privacy policies have to be in simple language not legalese
- companies have to tell you why they need data from you and what they are going to do with it
- you must give consent for your data to be used
- if you tell a company to erase your information they have to do it
- if there is a data breach they have to notify authorities in 3 days.
Failure to do so means hefty fines for the companies.
But I am not in the EU so am I being effected?
The laws only protect EU citizens and residents, but….
Companies have the choice to apply one set of rules for those living in the EU and one for everyone else or just make the changes for everyone.
Hmmm. Which one do you think they are going to chose?
Think of it like GMO labels in the United States. A handful of states require that anything made with genetically modified ingredients be labelled. Is General Mills going to slap a label on every box of cereal or only those sold in the areas that require it. Ain’t no one got time for that.
Large American companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. that do business throughout the world are updating their policies and procedures to make sure data is safe for all of their customers regardless of where they live.
Even small American bloggers like me, with just an occasional visit from a resident of the EU (“bienvenu” if that’s you), are still updating our privacy policies, adding cookie notices and deciding what information we really need to gather. We may be over-reacting, but most of us are just trying to do what we think is right.
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Did you say cookies are bad?
Eating too many cookies can be bad for your health. But, electronic cookies can actually be handy little bits of code.
Say you see this pin for my King Size Brookie recipe and you click through to my site because it looks amazing (because it is!).
When you try to leave my site, a pop up window asks if you are interested in receiving recipes via e-mail plus get a few ecookbooks for free. Whether you chose yes or no, a little bit of code is left on your device.
The next day when you are ready to make the recipe and come back to the site, the pop up program sees the cookie and says “This person has already seen this so I won’t bug them again.” Nice.
Some people like the personalization, some feel their privacy has been invaded.
I am a blogger, what do I need to do about GDPR?
Use you favorite search engine and type in “GDPR for bloggers”. Even if you are not in the European Union you may still want to take action.
I am an Internet User that doesn’t have a blog or store anyone else’s data electronically, what do I need to do?
Depending on where you live and what online companies you visit determines how much you are protected by the new legislation.
But, other than occasionally checking some extra “opt-in” boxes and having to delete a slew of privacy notices you don’t need to do a thing.
Except, maybe bake some cookies, because I bet you are craving them now.