How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet

If you’ve been looking for it, you may have seen a lot of privacy policies change in the past few months. From Google to Slack, companies are quietly updating terms, rewriting contracts, and rolling out new personal data tools in preparation for a massive shift in the legal landscape. So far, it’s mostly been a problem for legal departments, but as policy changes and contract fights go public, it’s started affecting the average web user, too.

The rule is called the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR), and it’s poised to reshape some of the messiest parts of the internet. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation is a rule passed by the European Union in 2016, setting new rules for how companies manage and share personal data. In theory, the GDPR only applies to EU citizens’ data, but the global nature of the internet means that nearly every online service is affected, and the regulation has already resulted in significant changes for US users as companies scramble to adapt.

Much of the GDPR builds on rules set by earlier EU privacy measures like the Privacy Shield and Data Protection Directive, but it expands on those measures in two crucial ways. First, the GDPR sets a higher bar for obtaining personal data than we’ve ever seen on the internet before. By default, any time a company collects personal data on an EU citizen, it will need explicit and informed consent from that person. Users also need a way to revoke that consent, and they can request all the data a company has from them as a way to verify that consent. It’s a lot stronger than existing requirements, and it explicitly extends to companies based outside the EU. For an industry that’s used to collecting and sharing data with little to no restriction, that means rewriting the rules of how ads are targeted online.

Comments

Privacy Policy

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.