GDPR transformed the internet in 2018, and it’s NOT Done YET

GDPR transformed the internet in 2018, and it’s NOT Done YET

The General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR, only went into effect on May 25 of 2018, but by now the regulation has reached so far into the everyday life of the internet that it’s becoming harder to imagine a time before. Things online are changing as a result of GDPR, even if you have to  to remind yourself of that fact, and as we move toward closing out 2018 it’s important to take a moment to explore just what those changes are — and the battle that’s still to come

The General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR, only went into effect on May 25 of 2018, but by now the regulation has reached so far into the everyday life of the internet that it’s becoming harder to imagine a time before. Things online are changing as a result of GDPR, even if you have to  to remind yourself of that fact, and as we move toward closing out 2018 it’s important to take a moment to explore just what those changes are — and the battle that’s still to come. 

For starters, it’s worth noting what GDPR even is. 

According to the European Commission, GDPR is “one set of data protection rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based.” The end result of this, we are told, is that “people have more control over their personal data,” and “businesses benefit from a level playing field.”

Sounds good, right? For the average internet user, that very much appears to be so. For example, GDPR dictates that companies must notify their users of data breaches that could affect said users. With huge breaches seemingly happening all the time, this requirement is vital when it comes to  ensuring that people are aware of just how much of their personal data is out in the wild. 

Of course, that’s not all that GPDR mandates, and breach notifications are not the only result of the new regulations. Notably, GDPR introduces some much-needed teeth to the internet equation. Companies can be fined hefty sums for failing to comply with the new rules, specifically “up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover.”

But all that’s been happening behind the scenes. The casual internet user, on the other hand, has likely come across GDPR in one specific form: the popup notification. You’ve surely seen it before, perhaps in the form of a dialog box interrupting your browsing to ask you to agree to the data collection that your site of choice engages in.