Not Your Average Email Communication
The European Union made recent changes to its data privacy regulations (the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR) that went into effect on May 25, 2018. These regulations mandate that companies clearly communicate how and why they are collecting consumer data.
While these regulations directly impact European businesses and consumers, they are still relevant to those of us in the U.S. that utilize international services such as social media, smartphone apps and more. Let’s walk through some common questions about these new data regulations, and what they mean for Americans.
Q: What are privacy policies?
A: Privacy policies explain how a company will collect, use, store and share a user’s sensitive information, as well as other personal data. Historically, these policies have been dense, hard to understand and filled with confusing legal jargon. With Europe’s new data privacy regulations, privacy policies must be easy to understand and accurately outline how and why a consumer’s data will be collected by a business.
Q: If these are European data privacy regulations, why am I receiving these emails?
Q: What impact does this have on me, if any?
Q: Do I need to do anything?
A: From a legal standpoint, you are not required to take any formal action related to these changes. However, the new European data privacy regulations were put in place to make it easier to understand what consumers are sharing with a business, and how it’ll be collected and used. Americans can benefit from these changes by reading through easy-to-understand privacy policies to ultimately make informed decisions about the information they share with businesses. Remember, each email you receive represents a company that is currently collecting your data.
What should I do?
- Know what to expect: Companies that must comply with Europe’s new data privacy regulations are required to have simplified privacy policies that are easy to understand, and clearly outline the data they are collecting from consumers. While these new regulations directly impact businesses that serve European consumers, these changes may also impact U.S. citizens if a company does business in international markets.
- PII vs. personal data: Your identity is more than just your Social Security number, birth date and sensitive credit information. In fact, it’s the entire combination of your unique data elements – which includes your “non-sensitive” information, too. Take an all-encompassing approach to protecting your identity by securing all your data, not just the highly sensitive parts.