What changes with GDPR?

GDPR is here and it was really hard to miss its coming. Each morning for the last few weeks you’d wake up and check your mail only to find you’ve been inundated with yet another slew of „Personal data privacy reminder” or similarly titled messages. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for a few months, here’s the scoop.

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is a piece of legislation that is automatically binding to all EU member states as of May 25, 2018. It has been also adopted by the UK even though that country will be leaving the EU as soon as next year. GDPR has been variously described as an „anti-Google” and „anti-spam” law, as it makes very important changes to how personal information can be handled online in regard to European citizens.

There’s much more to it than simple protection of personal data, of course, and while it aims to unify and homogenize privacy around EU, it is in most cases incompatible with other countries and their privacy laws. Yet it will apply to any organization that handles information about citizens of the EU, and any organization that works within the EU as well. In an interconnected world and the Internet era this doesn’t really just mean EU citizens, but potentially anyone on the planet dealing with such data. And that is exactly why several types of services – notably, automated ad systems – were affected by GDPR directly. Namely, they had to stop working altogether for anyone in EU, for fear of being fined or found liable for damages on the basis of not following the new law.

So what changes with GDPR in place? Well, for an individual who is browsing the net, doing their online shopping or posting things on social networks the change means each of the platforms they use will have to let them know how their data are used, what this information is, and where it is stored or moved. The users will also have to actually agree (opt-in) to any instance of a company needing to use personal data for any reason in a personally identifiable (not anonymous) form. For an organization or a company, the change means they need to hire a specialist to analyse their data use schemes and see if they use it correctly, rectify the situation if not, and let each of the company’s service’s recipients whose data is on file about the fact. The law will have a lasting effect on pretty much every business, and not all of it will be positive: already companies are losing a lot of money trying to become GDPR-compliant.

Some issues, like the right to be forgotten, are nearly impossible to implement. And us, regular users, have so far been overwhelmed with privacy statements, first-time log-in privacy policy confirmations and a lot of unnecessary, it seems, „paper work”. Time will tell if GDPR has any meaningful impact on how Google or other giants use your data to personalize ads, track your activity or predict your interests. So far, the biggest winners are government institutions, which are mostly allowed to use personal data for their public service activities. Is Big Brother already watching?



to do sth only to find sth – zrobić coś tylko po to, by coś znaleźć
inundated with sth – zasypany czymś
slew of sth – masa czegoś, ogrom
reminder – przypomnienie
if you’ve been living under a rock… – jeśli od dawna nie śledzisz tego, co się dzieje na świecie…
scoop – tu: informacje w skrócie, krótko o czymś ważnym
piece of legislation – ustawa
binding – wiążący
member state – państwo członkowskie
to adopt sth – przyjąć coś
variously – różnie
in regard to sb – w związku z kimś
citizen – obywatel
there’s more to sth than sth – w czymś nie chodzi tylko o coś
to unify – ujednolicić
to homogenize – ujednolicić, uczynić jednorodnym
incompatible with sth – niekompatybilny z czymś
to handle sth – zajmować się czymś, robić coś z czymś
interconnected – wzajemnie powiązany
to deal with sth – zajmować się czymś
notably – a mianowicie
ad (advertisement) – ogłoszenie, reklama
to affect sth – wpłynąć na coś
namely – mianowicie, otóż
altogether – całkowicie, zupełnie
for fear of doing sth – z obawy o zrobienie czegoś
to fine sb – ukarać kogoś grzywną/mandatem
to find sb liable – uznać kogoś za odpowiedzialnym/winnym czegoś
damages – odszkodowanie
to follow the law – prestrzegać prawa
individual – osoba
to browse – przeglądać (np. sieć)
to post – publikować
to store – przechowywać
to opt-in – zgodzić się na coś, zaakceptować
instance – przypadek (danej sytuacji, zdarzenia)
personally identifiable – dający się zidentyfikować jako konkretna osoba
anonymous – anonimowy
scheme – system
to rectify sth – naprawić coś
recipient – odbiorca
on file – w archiwach/aktach
lasting – trwały
compliant – zgodny (z normą, prawem)
to overwhelm sb – przytłoczyć kogoś, obezwładnić
statement – oświadczenie
first-time – po raz pierwszy, przy pierwszym razie (np. logowaniu)
confirmation – potwierdzenie
time will tell if… – czas pokaże, czy…
meaningful – znaczący
impact – wpływ
to personalize sth – spersonalizować coś
to track sth – śledzić coś
to predict sth – przewidywać coś

by Prochor Aniszczuk

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