Having Begun in the European Union, Should GDPR Be Implemented Worldwide?

A new policy, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was instituted in the European Union to help protect the data of Internet users. This sets guidelines regarding how your personal information is collected and what happens to it.

A new report is now stating that the United States government is considering enacting a similar policy. Having begun in the European Union, should GDPR be implemented worldwide?

Ada reports that she’s not entirely familiar with all the details of GDPR, but she has looked at it briefly. She reports she was “being bombarded with emails asking, pleading, begging, threatening, etc., for my consent to continue to spam me.” Regardless of the changes GDPR is supposed to bring, she’s still getting emails from companies she didn’t give her consent to. Because of that, she suggests that we first see how GDPR works in Europe, and then ask if it should be implemented worldwide.

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Phil also received multiple communications regarding GDPR because Europe is a big market, leading to companies world over wanting to spam them. He explains that “although the urge to have them comes from a good place, most laws tend to restrict, annoy, and confound the law-abiding and don’t affect the lawless at all.”

Andrew agrees with Ada that we don’t even know yet whether GDPR will be effective. However, he also notes that “the biggest mark in its favor is that as of yet, there hasn’t been a tech or market solution to user privacy that’s really proved viable.” With that, he feels it seems likely that legislative actions such as GDPR will be the best option for anyone worried about their privacy.

He also thinks it’s possible we just haven’t spent enough time in the big data era to develop an appropriate solution. “Blockchain technology is already presenting a lot of user-owned data solutions,” and privacy can be marketed as part of a product, as Apple has done. That said South Korea instituted Internet security laws and ended up dropping them a decade later.

He’s all for some type of protections and believes the GDPR has gotten it right in many ways “by specifying mostly rights and duties rather than standards and practices” but thinks “the underlying system needs to be changed more than the governance.”

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Alex, too, is all for there being “worldwide rules about how companies collect and use personal data,” but like others he questions whether the GDPR is the best version of that and is waiting to find out. His instincts tell him that it will be better than the total lack of regulation currently in the U.S.

Ryan believes it’s “about time the government starts regulating what happens to citizens online.” He found it pathetic to watch Mark Zuckerberg be grilled by U.S. senators regarding Facebook’s business practices, noting that it was obvious most of the lawmakers had very little understanding about how Internet businesses make money and how that affects people. “It may be fifteen years too late, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”

This is where I differ from my peers. I could go into a long-winded explanation, but with regards to this legislation coming to the U.S., I question any government that is willing to keep my privacy safe but isn’t willing to keep me or other individuals physically safe.

You’ve read a lot of opinions here, from people being open to it to some who are hesitant. But one resounding thing that rings through is that many feel we should sit back and watch how the GDPR works before we rush into anything. How do you feel about this? Should GDPR be implemented worldwide? Chime in and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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