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Current Issue (February 2017)

Volume: 14 Issue: 2

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About Data Protection Leader:

The monthly law publication which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy. Topics covered include data transfers and outsourcing, data localisation and retention, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the e-Privacy Directive, data security, marketing and behavioural advertising, consent, employee monitoring, privacy compliance, risk management, DPO responsibilities, accountability, Privacy by Design, acquisition and mergers, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data / read more

 
Privacy and hope

 

We are living through truly turbulent times. Whether it is politicians displaying irresponsibly bullying behaviour or emboldened thugs championing hate speech, our society seems to have taken a turn for the worse in a matter of months. In the world of data and technology, there are times where our hunger for Big Data appears to have spiralled out of control leaving people at the mercy of machines cleverly programmed to extract every penny out of our digital existence. Has the promised land of the 21st century information economy been ruined already? Is it all going downhill from here then? Uncertainty has become the accepted new normal, but yet, believe it or not, there are reasons to be hopeful and to think that the world can still prosper without our privacy being lost in the process.

It may be all too obvious for me to say it, but the first signs for optimism come from the power of the rule of law. In Europe, we have witnessed the crafting of a law that is clearly aimed at strengthening individuals’ privacy rights whilst demanding concrete and tangible actions from those who wish to use our data. In some respects, the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’) is an over-engineered and unhelpfully complex framework, but it will succeed in raising the bar in terms of ensuring the responsible use of personal information. Given the strong regulatory powers it provides, the GDPR has become a global point of reference for any data reliant organisation - that is pretty much every one on the planet - and it will set a standard which, even if unachievable for many, will be copied and followed throughout the world.

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