In the wake of the Facebook scandals a European data regulation is finding growing support from data activists and privacy-by-design services.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will establish data rights for individuals in the European Union, and will come into effect on May 25.
GDPR aims to give full control of personal data back to individuals by giving them the right to:
- Be informed about data processes
- Control how their personal data is used
- Delete and correct personal data
- Access and export personal data
- Data portability
GDPR’s strict requirements — especially on consent and data portability — could lead to a shift in the traditional power dynamic between tech giants and users.
Most tech companies are not used to direct regulation on this scale, which forces them to align with ethical data practices through the threat of financial penalties. For companies such as Facebook — who have relied on both assumptions of consent to fuel data generation and on intentionally inconvenient design to stop users leaving and taking their data with them — this could be a significant challenge.
Furthermore, GDPR also threatens tech giants by strengthening the mandate of ethical, user-centric services. Any “privacy-by-design” products that provide more transparency and benefit to users will be able to position themselves as user advocates working in the public’s interest.
At Shryne, we consider GDPR to be a vital regulation. Our service has always been focused on enabling users to own, control and benefit from their own data, and we fully support the European Union’s leadership in this matter.
Although we have always agreed with such data rights, we’ve still taken this as an opportunity to evaluate where we can make our service even more transparent. Using various stages of our service, we will be informing users about how our service operates. We will also collect granular consent for separate features, so that our transparency is reflective of our mission to serve our users. Furthermore, we will require all current users to provide consent for, at minimum, the secure storage of their social data, to achieve compliance.
We believe GDPR will set the standard for data rights around the world. Therefore, we have made the only right decision for Shryne and will apply uniform privacy controls to all users, regardless of what nationality they are, or which jurisdiction they are based in. In our view, to do otherwise would amount to discrimination.
More broadly, we at Shryne see GDPR as an indication that public and political attitudes towards data ownership are changing. We’re intent on discovering new means of empowering users through their own data by providing an archiving and social health service, and hope any obstacles to user rights will continue to be eroded.