You may already have noticed that in the last months your email inbox is filled with the same message, and also you probably are already tired of seeing “we change our privacy policies”.
Well, it’s time for you to find out what it is about and also why you receive these types of messages? Why do you see them appear on pages you enter and even in applications?
Since May 25th, the Regulation for the Protection of General Data Law (General Data Protection Regulation) started to rule in the European Union. Therefore, all Internet services, pages and applications that have or ever had access to your data are bombarding all its users with emails about the privacy updates necessary to comply with this new standard.
Within this new law (GDPR) is highlighted that users must give consent to use and access data explicitly.
The GDPR is not about your inbox
Many have complained about the number of new messages, but the lawyers and regulators of the GDPR have stated that the idea was not this one. But the users knew the data that is collected about them when they use the different Internet services. Another effect that they expected was that companies will stop accumulating data.
This is why the law proposes that privacy policies be clear, so people stop giving consent without reading before they are giving freely.
For example, some companies use silence as consent, others as Facebook and Google, in addition to emails, use pop-up messages in their applications and pages that ask users to give permission for the collection and use of data.
But then, what exactly does GDPR ask for?
The idea is that as users we have more control over the information we give to Internet companies. Therefore, in addition to giving our explicit consent, companies are obliged to tell us how they use the information. Likewise, they have to give us access and permission to delete it whenever we want.
Facebook is currently requesting that users give “their attention and permission” to three main axes regarding the use of the data. On the one hand, access to personal and sensitive data. On the other hand, the use of facial recognition and, finally, the use of data from third parties to improve the experience with advertising. That is, cookies that are stored in our computer or history. By not giving permission to any of these, the user may not enjoy all the features of the social network.
In addition, if companies have attacks in which the information of their users is compromised, they have 72 hours to inform those affected and the public in general.
How a European law can benefit us
Although the different Internet companies are requesting explicit consent from their users all over the world, only those who are covered by the law will have legal recourse at the moment of filing an appeal or complaint. However, it is a reminder for users to review and think what permissions they are giving.
So, with this regulation, users must authorize the use of their data by companies. Likewise, they must be informed in what they are used and these can not be shared with third parties.
In addition, we have the right to request the correction of information or to have it partially or completely eliminated.
Finally, it only remains to say that: yes, we should probably read these emails before deleting them. But if we do not have the will to do it, at least let’s review what pages and services we are receiving these messages from. It is very possible that there are Internet pages and accounts that we did not use for years and we can close those accounts or cancel the subscriptions.