The Global Reach of GDPR

So now that GDPR has been enforceable for 5 months, how has it been received globally?

 As GDPR is – in essence – a global legislation (any company holding EU citizens data must comply to the regulation) it has lead to many countries – most notably the US, to rethink their own data privacy laws but is everyone supportive of it?

 Over in California, a new legislation CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) comes into force January 1st 2020 which many believe was pushed through before tighter laws were sought, but has still lead to concerns amongst the US Tech industry. Companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook all view data privacy laws as a threat to how they conduct their operations. So why aren’t these companies supportive of legislation designed to protect peoples personal data? For companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, which are less of a hostage to advertising fortunes than Google or Facebook, the answer lies in AI and machine learning, together with the IoT, connected transport, smart cities, and analytics: technologies that all rely on access to vast pools of data.

 Why is California so important? California’s economy compared to the rest of the world currently ranks 5th and is now larger than the UK, with $2.7 trillion GDP California sits behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany. California’s large economy is attributed to its thriving tech sector and Hollywood.

 On the other side of the fence, many key voices are now speaking out in support of a GDPR like regulation, insisting that there are many benefits to it contrary to the general feeling that the laws are too restrictive with regards to overall data usage. Apple CEO Tim Cook, is one of the latest to pledge support for new regulations. Of course, Apple are mainly a hardware company, but they do produce their own software and crucially have stores worldwide – both retail units and online stores – that these regulations would impact greatly. There was a fantastic quote from Tim Cook whilst speaking in Brussels “Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.”