GDPR Rumblings: Threats Are Proceeding On The Back Burner

Things have seemed quiet on the GDPR front — almost too quiet. But don’t be deceived: Some disquieting snippets have been leaking out of Europe.  

For example, Ireland is considering a plan to appoint a digital Safety Commissioner. Why? A legislative committee has determined that “Google and Facebook cannot be trusted to self-regulate,” The Irish Examiner reports. This follows reports that several Google apps and websites “store user location even if users have turned off their location history,” it adds.

And the Danish Data Protection Agency has seen a spike in cases. It expects to handle 20,000 this year, which is a quadrupling of its usual tally, according to CPH Post. 

Most of these “cases” concern queries from companies about data treatment and storage. But there have also been around 1,000 reports of security breaches, the story continues.

it’s not all bad news, however.



Take the finding that third-party cookies per page have declined by 22% on European news sites since implementation of GDPR, according to Changes in Third-Party Content on European News Websites After GDPR, a study by Timothy Libert, Lucas Graves and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.

News sites face “significantly greater challenges under GDPR” because of their reliance on third parties,” the authors write.

The biggest falloff — 45% — was on UK sites. France and Italy had falloffs of 32% apiece. Only Poland saw a 29% increase.

But there is an upside — that GDPR” may have provided news organizations with a chance to evaluate the utility of various features, including third-party services, and to remove code which is no longer of significant use or which compromises user privacy,” it adds.

What does this mean to U.S. brands that may be not all that aware of GDPR? For gaming companies, some of which have most apps that use third-party services, it may lead to “an interesting effect of temporarily clearing the market of a lot of underperforming games, making it slightly easier to launch new privacy-friendly games into the void,” Pocket Gamer reports.

And on the retail front, “a move away from the current status quo of largely unfettered use of consumer data does not necessarily have to stifle retailers’ efforts to achieve strategic omni-channel loyalty,” JD Supra writes.

On the contrary, GDPR presents “a unique opportunity for retailers to further curate consumers’ personal experiences while simultaneously demonstrating their own loyalty to consumers through the implementation of mindful, honest practices concerning data collection, use, and protection.”

Let’s check back in September, when everyone has returned from vacation. 

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