How much does GDPR improve privacy? Using Blur, individuals can avoid giving their personal information to companies in the first place.
What is GDPR?
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is meant to give power over personal data back to the individual whose data is being held. It has been implemented in all European countries, codifies several rights for European citizens over data holding and use, and applies to any ‘data controller’ holding the personal information of any of these citizens. A ‘data controller’ is defined as a person or body which “determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data” [Article 4(7)] (think Facebook, or Google). This way, GDPR improves the privacy of European citizens, or at least is supposed to.
GDPR puts more responsibility and burden for companies to be transparent about the data they have and what they do with it. Additionally, it puts more responsibility on the individual by allowing them to request copies of the exact information that is being held by companies, while also allowing the individuals to request that the information is erased or that it be restricted in use by the company. Because of this, both companies and individuals must be more proactive in knowing how (their) personal information is being used.
Does GDPR Improve Privacy?
There is no formal procedure set out in the regulation for individuals to claim the rights about data use. An individual can claim them through any means – verbally or in writing, and it is up to the company to respond to their request within a month. There has already been skepticism that ‘the average person’ will be able to claim their rights. Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer who has challenged Facebook’s use of his data in the past, has created an NGO to represent individuals making complaints under GDPR.
The lack of a formal procedure is meant to make it easier for individuals to claim their rights, and place the burden to see to such requests on the side of the company. Still, it may instead make it confusing for individuals to claim their rights, especially from companies based outside of Europe. For example, if a European citizen contacts an American company to request that they delete the individual’s personal data, this company might ask that their European citizenship is confirmed before taking on the request. Under Article 12(6) of GDPR, a company is allowed to ask for confirmation if there are doubts as to the identity of the requester. It might be perturbing for an individual to have to then provide additional personal information, especially citizenship information (usually proven through a sensitive document like a passport), in order to have their personal data removed.
So, it seems that GDPR, while certainly increasing the rights of European citizens to access and control their data, does not provide a clear way to do this. This is causing confusion for both individuals submitting requests, and the company bearing the burden of responding to them. Furthermore, only European nationals are able to take advantage of these rights.
Blur and DeleteMe Help You Protect Your Personal Data
Using Blur, individuals can avoid giving their personal information to companies in the first place. By creating a unique email and password when signing up for new accounts, and by masking your credit card information when making online purchases, you can find more control over your personal information. Blur also helps you be proactive by blocking trackers, who collect your browsing data and send it to companies.
Blur, DeleteMe and GDPR
GDPR might improve privacy, if you are willing to try out the unclear path that it offers. Blur is both an excellent solution for Europeans looking for more control over their information and want to avoid going through the unclear path presented by the GDPR, or anyone looking to have more control over their personal information. With Blur, you can keep your private information private, and protect your identity.
With DeleteMe, individuals can subscribe to remove personal information from Google by requesting removal from whitepages as well as other large companies like Spokeo, Intelius and Been Verified. DeleteMe is currently only available to U.S. users, or individuals that have spent significant time in the U.S. Unfortunately, most non-U.S. based data broker websites are not required to comply with our opt-outs, so we can’t do much to assist with websites that are based outside of the U.S.
A full list of websites that DeleteMe can remove from is found here.
At Abine, we’re dedicated to consumer privacy rights and support privacy policies that are understandable. We’re committed to responsibly handling any information we collect. We’re absolute in support of you owning your own data.
We think we’ve always been transparent about our Privacy and Data Use Policies, so you can see how we’ve changed our Privacy and Data Use Policies to comply with GDPR by clicking this link.
Abine, Inc. is The Online Privacy Company. Founded in 2009 by MIT engineers and financial experts, Abine’s mission is to provide easy-to-use online privacy tools and services to everybody who wants them. Abine’s tools are built for consumers to help them control the personal information companies, third parties, and other people see about them online.
DeleteMe by Abine is a hands-free subscription service that removes personal information from public online databases, data brokers, and people search websites.
Blur by Abine is the only password manager and digital wallet that also blocks trackers, and helps users remain private online by providing ‘Masked’ information whenever companies are asking for personal information.
Abine’s solutions have been trusted by over 25 million people worldwide.