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Privacy Matters

Why does the internet need GDPR? Why now?

If you're following the state of digital in 2018, you've been through some rough waters. The saga of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, an incident where millions of customer profiles were used without the knowledge or consent of the people who owned them, is going to have lasting effects on digital privacy in the United States. 

How did we get here? It's easy to remember a time, sometime after Amazon became ubiquitous and before Gamergate erupted across social platforms, when we had all pretty much overcome our objections to digital. We shopped online, exchanged messages through third-party apps, and shared everything on social. We didn't think much of it.

Fast-forward to 2017. New techniques in Big Data led to disappointing and even biased algorithms. Millions around the world have had their data stolen in a series of record-breaking data breeches. Americans are waking up to news that they've unwittingly handed their friends' data over to shadowy political operatives. 

The trust we have in data and its ability to improve our lives is at an all-time low.

 

Europe Is On It

How Europe is addressing digital privacy

Citizens and lawmakers of the European Union have, for many years, taken issue with how companies that operate on the Internet handle the privacy and security of the data they collect. Their latest in a series of privacy regulations is the General Data Privacy Regulation, a sweeping omnibus set of rules that companies need to comply with if they collect data on EU citizens.

GDPR is an update to their 1995 European Union Data Protection Directive (DPD), which fell short in many ways. The DPD affected EU companies only, which made it difficult to regulate behemoth data collectors headquartered outside of the EU. It also only affected companies that collect data - the law was silent on the responsibilities of third parties who are involved in processing the data.

The broad reach of this regulation, and the costs associated with compliance, make it ever more likely that the United States and other western countries will adopt overlapping guidelines as well.

 

What HYFN Is Doing

HYFN is already providing thought leadership in the space:

We're tracking the law and practices that companies implement as they get ready for GDPR, and we're planning to bring easy GDPR compliance solutions to market soon. Check out our blog for ongoing updates.