US News Outlets Block European Readers Over New Privacy Rules

The Latest: Complaints vs Google, Facebook under new EU law

Among the inevitable deluge of emails sent by companies desperate to be seen to be doing the bare minimum in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect in Europe today, have been those requesting blanket opt-ins.

They can also request to have their data deleted or corrected, and will be able to download their data and take it elsewhere, such as from one music streaming service to another. USA firms that have employees or customers in Europe-anyone from the likes of Facebook to small app developers-are affected by the GDPR.

"And to make a conscious attempt, or a conscious decision what data they share".

Among the larger technology firms to report an impact was Pinterest's new clipping service Instapaper, which said it underestimated the work required to comply with the new European Union law that requires users to have near-complete control over the data they share with organisations.

Facebook is another tech giant that will offer the same privacy controls and settings available to Europeans under GDPR to the rest of the world (although it has also made changes so that its non-European users - previously governed by terms of service agreed with the company's worldwide headquarters in Ireland - won't actually be covered by GDPR).

And the rules force companies that suffer data breaches to disclose them within 72 hours.

Susanne Dehmel, head of Legal & Security at Bitkom, Germany's digital association, said firms were concerned because they were not sure how to enforce the new regulations.

The regulations are aimed at personal data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union - but also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU.

The GDPR also creates a fine of 4 per cent of global annual turnover or €20m - whichever is greater - for those who fall foul of the law.

The "take it or leave it" approach embraced by some both large and small companies will likely not sit well with the EU's executive body, the European Commission, which may soon start taking action against the companies they see as most blatantly violating the GDPR.

The GDPR will sweep away the EU's outdated privacy legislation and harmonise how data is processed and handled across the region. Ailidh Callander of the London-based group Privacy International says many questions will be tested in courts and further rulemaking.

Some companies are extending at least some EU-style protections to all users. The ability for different data protection authorities to cooperate on challenges that affect data controllers that operate in more than one member-state has been touted as a benefit of GDPR, for example.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, promised "global settings and controls" for users during his US congressional testimony in April, but was otherwise vague on the subject.

The right to object: Users get an "absolute right" to stop companies from using private data for marketing.

Three years ago, ahead of Schrems' pivotal court battles with Facebook and before most people even knew what GDPR was, we caught up with Schrems during a visit to Dublin. For weeks, businesses as varied as Uber, bike shops and restaurants have been sending notes to alert people to updated privacy policies as a result of the law, known as G.D.P.R.

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