COFACE Families Europe: Stronger EU rules for the protection of personal data as of 25 May 2018 – Important first step to ensure data privacy and protection of families online
On 6 April 2016, the EU agreed to a major reform of its data protection framework, by adopting the data protection reform package, comprising the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), replacing a twenty-year-old Directive. This is the most recent attempt by the European Union, to address the growing concerns related to privacy and data protection. On 25 May 2018, the new Regulation will enter into force and become directly applicable, two years after its adoption. The GDPR aims above all to give control back to European citizens over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
Several GDPR provisions can potentially revolutionise how personal data is handled, stored and processed. This includes the data portability principle which, coupled with the data minimization principle, could allow users to regain full control over their data; also important are the proportionality and “fit for purpose” principles, coupled with the right to protest against automated decisions, which could lead to fairer treatment of consumers in a variety of services like calculation of risk for personal insurance, creditworthiness checks, dynamic pricing practices or targeted advertising.
Nevertheless, there is still much uncertainty over just how much the GDPR will change our daily digital lives. There remain many unanswered questions and potential negative impacts of the GDPR, notably around the areas of consent in the case of minors.
What is clear, however, is that the GDPR is gradually helping to phase in privacy mindful data handling practices for all actors. Guided by its Digitalisation Principles, COFACE Families Europe will continue to monitor how the GDPR will be enforced, and provide guidance on how best to interpret the general provisions of the GDPR to achieve the highest protection and privacy for the personal data of all families, children and parents alike.