Even when the developments might’ve been considered fairly primitive by modern standards, technological progress has always been a definitive characteristic of humanity. Like any new tool, technology has infinite capacity to be used in all the wrong ways—in this, atomic and biological weapons come to mind. And even with better intentions, sometimes technological impact can still skew negatively, such as when society’s immense reliance on it harms our environment, health, or thought patterns.
Giant strides have been made in privacy rights and regulations in Europe and many parts of the globe ever since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable on May 25th, 2018. In a world with serious impediments to my privacy and yours, the GDPR, to varying degrees of success, has been slowly leveling the field in how personal data is treated; rest assured, it’s a lot more than the privacy e-mail updates you’ve been receiving and the website cookie banners you’ve been accepting. In layman’s terms, the GDPR mandates requirements for storing, processing, accessing, and protecting personal data. We’ve all heard it – failure to comply with the Regulation attracts staggering fines of up to 4% annual global turnover of the prior financial year, or €20 million, whichever is higher. Despite the laundry list of concerns surrounding the Regulation, there has been reasonable progress since the enforcement date. Here are some notable observations since the inception of GDPR that you should know: