GDPR: What is the EU capable of and Russia is not

Creating transformation through the innovation

GDPR: What is the EU capable of and Russia is not

What makes the Internet giants: Alphabet, Facebook, Instagram different? They are all free. So, what makes them so influential? The support of the state!

How is it possible that Internet platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram and others have become in such a short time so important, so influential and profitable? The answer is pretty simple – the tremendous support of the state.

Every country has a surveillance practice, but with the Internet, that practice has become the most sophisticated surveillance practice ever. Every successful surveillance relies on effective data collection and analysis, and that is exactly what makes those giants different.

All these facts are what make the American companies dominant, and that makes the US the No.1 surveillance power in the world. And of course, that is something that other powers don’t like.

The Russians, Chinese and others have decided to protect themselves by building a protected, controlled environment. They have supported the development of the alternative search engines and social platforms for their own surveillance purposes, the usage of the open OS platforms and other measures to protect their own data. We may agree that they’ve done a good job but for the government data mainly. Their public data are still unprotected and widely exposed to foreign intelligence threats!

On another side, the EU is in a quite different position. They have been partnering with the US for decades. And with the partner, you have a special relationship and understanding, no matter what.  To find that your partner is tapping your mobile phones etcetera for some time. So what could the EU do to keep their partner calm and responsible in respecting the EU and its citizens by protecting data? Of course, to introduce the GDPR!

Through the GDPR the EU has introduced the individual rights above the company rights and they’ve sent the message: “The Internet is public domain, but our data are our data!” In other words: “You may control, use, process, transfer or hold our data but they are under the EU regulation and you must comply with that.”

So, what is the EU capable of…or what might be the implications of the GDPR?

First of all, the GDPR will affect the American business sector. Based on the PwC survey from January 2017, 92% of US organisations will be affected by the GDPR. It really demonstrates what is the US share of the data controlling and processing market and from where they gain significant revenues.

The GDPR is changing the environment in that sense. The data owners are getting their own belongings back. They will be in a position to utilise their own data as they want. Even to trade with their private data, personal information or even personal behaviour, for the free service or to gain certain benefits from the controllers. The owners will be able to negotiate or change their minds whenever they want…or even request to be forgotten!

Secondly, the GDPR will consequently affect government interference, particularly in the surveillance sense. The embedded limitation of the data processing on the scientific, historical or statistical purposes was defined strictly and only within and around the public interest.

The GDPR is aiming to the fair and transparent processing of the data where the data collection will be reasonable in the sense of the extent of the personal data which are or will be processed. In that sense, government entanglement will have to change the form, but even then, they’re not excluded from the regulation.

The most important question is related to the ability of the EU to impose the GDPR to the other countries. For sure, the EU will insist on the fulfilment of the regulation, and many countries are forced to accept this in having access to the EU. For some, the negotiation will be very hard…but the EU holds an excellent bargaining position in any case.

Whatever happened, the GDPR will be the heavy artillery in this battle!

Published on July 22, 2017 (