What’s that GDPR and how it affects you ?

General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) comes into affect from May 25,2018 how does it affect the internet around the world ?

Your mailbox would have been flooded with new updated privacy policies from almost every internet company in the world. And why is a big deal ? Why every internet company is updating it’s privacy policy ?

Websites around the world are updating its privacy policy to comply with new Data Protection rules set up by European Union to protect European citizens. Almost every site in the world has a hit from people living in Europe and as a result every website had to update it’s privacy policy to suit the new regulations. To understand the deal with the new rules, we have to understand how the internet works basically. Companies get the money to run their sites from any one of the methods.

  1. Get Money from users in term of fees to access the site.
  2. Get Money in form of donation from its users but users who don’t donate are not blocked from accessing the site.
  3. Serve Advertisements in its site.

The first method is in use from the age of beginning of the internet. But not every user wishes to pay to access the site. Piracy of the sites content increased and companies had to search new methods of revenue. The second form is usually adopted by not for profit businesses. Most famous sites like Wikipedia and Telegram have received gracious donations from various philanthropist to keep their site running.

As piracy became more and more prominent, the third form of revenue generation came into effect. Serving Advertisements to users. Much like television channels, publisher get money from the advertisers. Companies like Facebook and Google became internet giants from revenue generated by these methods. Most of the services are free and users starting using their services in large numbers. But there is a catch. Advertisements online are served rather in a different way. There are two ways in which advertisements are served.

  1. CPC – Cost per Click ads.
  2. CPM – Cost per thousand impression ads.

Generally people don’t click on ads. And Advertisers don’t want to pay internet companies to show ads to people that are not their target. For example, a internet education company does not want to show its ads to people aged above 30. It wanted to show ads to only its target market. And thus the second method also came under question. Google the internet giant had the answer to the question. Google had the search data of it’s users. As services like YouTube, Google Mail, Android came, Google had even more data on it’s hands. It had everything from your location data to your private emails. As Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technology developed, it had the power to teach its computers to learn a person from all the data. As a result, Google could identify character of a person. Even your close friend may not know a secret about you, but Google knows everything about you. It’s not just Google. Every internet company like Facebook, Yahoo started collecting user data. If a website gives it’s services for free, it collects your data. Yes, even this site use Google Adsense service (Extension of Google Ads for individual publishers) to server targeted ads to user.

As more and more data is collected, data privacy became an issue. And that’s where GDPR comes into effect. GDPR forces internet companies to give users an option to not track them. User can now decide what data is collected from them and choose whether a particular website can collect specific piece from them. New rules are also set on how the collected data can be used. Companies now have to inform the public about data breaches in their system within 72 hours which not necessary before.

As a result many companies updated their privacy policy to suit with the new rules. Some companies have chosen to black out European users from accessing their sites. It’s still uncertain if those sites would be opened to European public any time in the future.

What’s your view on the new GDPR rule ? Comment below.

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