ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

General Data Protection Regulation Goes Live in The EU - The Tech Giants Are Not Pleased

Updated on May 25, 2018
RJ Schwartz profile image

I try to present technical issues in a way that people can easily understand them.

In order to protect consumers and their personal data, the European Union has enacted a new regulation which went into effect today, May 25th, 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a broad package of protective measures to protect the privacy of individuals within the European Union. The goals of this regulation are to return control of individual data back to the individual and to ensure that companies who collect data, demonstrate complete disclosure of what is being collected, how it’s used, and by whom. Additionally, there must be a provision for any individual to revoke permissive use of their information at any time. Furthermore, any data breach which compromises an individual’s privacy must be reported within 72 hours of the breach. The regulation is not intended to disrupt legitimate on-line commerce, but instead to stop the practice where huge troves of personal data are aggregated and resold to marketing firms or other advertisers for a profit.

This new regulation affects anyone who collects or holds data on people who reside within the confines of the European Union, regardless of where the collection point resides. What it amounts to is that any organization in the world who wants to do business or engage with the EU must comply with its guidelines. Many of the world’s largest technology companies have been actively preparing for this new regulation by updating their privacy notices. The cost of compliance is staggering and it is forcing many small companies to shutter European operations temporarily. Still others are abandoning the European market altogether resulting in temporary chaos across the internet. Today websites from several major U.S. based newspapers and media sources are offline in Europe, leaving an audience of over 500 million people disconnected.

Google and Facebook Already Under Fire

The impact of GDPR will be felt over the next few days, and it appears that new regulation will have a chilling effect on any company that isn’t compliant. Global giants like Facebook and Google are already under fire because of their forced consent policies. These two companies, and many others, require users to opt into data management terms that the company sets, or they are blocked from utilizing their product. Supporters of the new law are making the case that these companies should be forced to change their practices. Since both of these companies, and many other, are built on compiling and reselling personal data or sharing it with third-party developers, it will be interesting to see if they choose to comply.

The EU regulators are momentarily playing hardball and plan to levy massive fines on any company that tries to circumvent the system. These can be as high as 4% of a firm’s total annual revenue or €20 (approximately 23.5 million USD). Many American companies have already complied in one way or another, but some are waiting on the sidelines to see how things evolve over the coming weeks. Congress has toyed with the idea of internet regulation, but so far nothing concrete has emerged from the legislative body. Another topic being discussed is enforcement. At this point, the onus for compliance in Europe has been delegated to the individual states, but there is no global watchdog to monitor things outside of the EU.

Almost Certain to Change On-Line Advertising Practices

If enough users opt out of data sharing, which is anticipated, then the targeted on-line marketing industry is likely to take a massive global hit. Currently companies like Google and Amazon populate websites with on-line ads tailored to the preferences of users, but if harvesting data is no longer permissible, then the entire model will need to change. Advertisers may be already looking for new channels to reach customers. It’s likely that on-line ad spending will drop in the near future as well, cutting into the earnings of big tech. The law is already being hailed as a victory for the people.

As of this posting, some sites are completely unavailable in the EU, while others are inundating users with pop-ups detailing their data collection policies and giving notices concerning cookies. Currently the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune are dark, each posting a message stating they are currently unavailable in the European market.

© 2018 Ralph Schwartz


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)