HERE'S THE SITUATION
We all know EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has been coming at us, full force, for the past two years. Now that it has arrived, it seems not everyone is playing by the rules - especially, big tech giants like Facebook and Google! The regulation went into effect, today, May 25th, 2018 and longtime Facebook nemesis, Max Schrems, has already filed a whopping four complaints - 3 against Facebook and 1 against Google. Why? Their opt-ins are more along the lines of forced consent, with the tech giants using a 'take it or leave it' stance - clearly going against GDPR rules.
Schrems filed the complaints under anonymous, individual users. The four accounts were against Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram, as well as, WhatsApp and Google's Android. His argument - he feels this forced consent approach is allowing the previously stated platforms to still collect personal data from users, unfairly. This is contrary to the NEW law; as GDPR requires users to be given a clear choice to opt-in or out, sans ultimatum, with a clear 'yes' or 'no' prompt - unless, consent is a necessary provision of the service. That being said, the loophole does not apply to Facebook or Google platforms and subsidiaries.* Facebook's current opt-in allows users to click the 'agree' button or delete their accounts all together - not cool, Facebook! Facebook has even gone as far as to block user accounts that don't provide consent.
Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan provided TechCrunch with the following statement -
'We have prepared for the past 18 months to ensure we meet the requirements of the GDPR. We have made our policies clearer, our privacy settings easier to find and introduced better tools for people to access, download, and delete their information. Our work to improve people’s privacy doesn’t stop on May 25th. For example, we’re building Clear History: a way for everyone to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, clear this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward.'
GDPR'S PENALTY STRUCTURE
Penalties for going against GDPR are steep. The fines are as large as 4% of the violating company's global revenue or 20 million Euros; whichever one is more.*
This means if Facebook and Google are both found guilty of noncompliance, they face a fine of 1 billion euros, each.*
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Until next time, Techies!