Storm Blog

What does the new G.D.P.R., the new data law in the EU, means for you?

What does the new G.D.P.R., the new data law in the EU, means for you?



Europe has introduced one of the toughest Internet related privacy laws in the world. This law is called the General Data Protection Regulation. The changes in the law give the consumers more control of what is shared and collected about them. Companies that do not comply will be punished. However, the law is introduced but what does this new law means for you?


What are the new rules?

The law went into effect on May 25th. The law strengthens the personal privacy rights in general. Companies may be fined for up to 4 percent of their total revenue. For Facebook this would mean 1.6 billion dollars. Large internet platforms have a long history of trading privacy for convenience. Free services on the internet like for example Gmail collect data in return. Also, they sell personal directed advertising. However, recent scandals in the field of privacy involving social networks like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica show us the downside of this trade-off. Maybe, it is too early to know how effective the new introduced law will be, but governments all over the internet will watch.


Will the internet look different?

Actually, no. Supporters of the new law say that this law will bring huge changes in how companies operate online. However, in reality, the effect on the global internet will be very minimal. If you live in the European Union there is one change and this one will be positive for you. You will see way fewer of those appliance ads after you did some online shopping. However, this is obviously not the main reason why the law is institutionalised. The new law requires to be totally transparent about how your personal data will be handled, and you will need to give permission when they want to use it. Target ads are, due to this rule, no longer possible.


What are your rights?

Even if you do not notice most of the changes, some changes are worth knowing about. For example, you are able to ask companies to remove all your personal information of their servers. This applies on every organisation that is storing your personal information. You can even ask your empler (!!!)


If you suspect your information is not used in the right way, you can complain and go tot he national data protection centre. They are obligated by law to investigate the case. And of course, one individual going up against a giant organisation, is worthless. But this law makes it easier to complain and to get your case investigated.


Will it make a real difference?

Right now, it is too soon to tell. The law has therefore just been institutionalised. This may be a real unsatisfactory answer, but the long-term effects of the new law will not be known in the near future. If this law will eventually be successful depends strongly on the national enforcing of the rules. And, of course, how they use their tight budgets. European countries each have a data-protection agency which is responsible for enforcing of the law done by the national government.




The General Data Protection Regulation provides several ways to take action if your information is being misused. However, the question stays whether people are caring enough, or if the process of trading privacy for convenience keeps a worthwhile deal. 

The global energy demand and how it should be met

The global energy demand and how it should be met

“In terms of weapons, the best disarmament tool so far is nuclear energy. We have been taking down the Russian warheads, turning it into...


Effective Climate Change mitigation in the EU needs ban of contested ISDS-clause in trade treaties

How Green Politics suffocate under pressure of multinational corporations   A recent report of Milieudefensie regarding the...


Log in to read and post comments