The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25, 2018. These are a set of regulations governing how companies in Europe collect and use data they receive from their consumers. It aims at giving consumers more control over how their data is being collected and used. While these regulations aim at making companies more responsible, there are fears that it may hinder innovation.
GDPR has been on the works for a while. It aimed at updating the Data Protection Directive that came into place in 1995. This means that some of the decisions were made before we started witnessing the rapid evolution of the internet resulting in some outdated concepts and inflexible rules that govern the way these regulations work. A major downside of these regulations is that they may hinder innovations such as those happening on the cloud. Many innovative companies make use of big data to improve their services and making predictions to make the world a better place.
One of the areas that GDPR failed to acknowledge was the recent innovations in decentralized data storage such as using blockchains. These are type of peer-to-peer networking protocols that can store data in fragments. With these innovations, even if a person hacked the data, it would be useless to them. GDPR does not take these technologies and other emerging ones into account since it classifies them together with centralized data storage systems. This means that nodes storing data, even though it is defragmented or encrypted, will still be required to be compliant with GDPR.
It is evident that GDPR aims at empowering consumers on how their data is being collected and used. However, some of the concepts behind some of the reasoning of the regulations are too restrictive and they tend to hinder innovations that may offer improved privacy and security. These regulations can be re-interpreted to conform to innovations in modern technologies and they will have more success in what they aim to achieve.
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