25th of May was the day many tech companies had been preparing for. It was the day when the EU Privacy Law went into effect. Called the General Data Protection Regulation, it adds a creamy layer of accountability to the laws governing the exchange of information between tech companies and their customers.
You may have gotten some updates to your terms of service for several apps such as Spotify, Patreon and even Prisma. It’s because so many businesses have their international centers or Headquarters in Europe. Facebook literally had to move its International Center from Ireland in order to remove 1.5 billion of its users not residing in Europe from GDPR jurisdiction.
Some tech companies have stopped EU customers from using their services, like Insta Paper, the news clipping service from Pinterest. The reason is many tech companies just didn’t have enough time to chalk out what they could and could not leave in or add on to their privacy policies after the GDPR came into effect.
It’s unfortunate that the largest companies have resources to deal with GDPR laws, smaller businesses are facing tough consequences. Still, the regulation is a first step in redefining the rules of the internet, and it’s one certainly taken in the right direction as it protects the people. One of the defining laws of the GDPR is that citizens can have any information on them taken down from the internet if they so choose, unless of course in the face of certain circumstances such as the subject being under investigation.