Over 90 percent of people in the United States feel like their data is out of their control, and judging from the impression that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation left on the world, it’s surely not going to be the last piece of privacy legislation that is issued. Still, will it be enough to urge certain governments and organizations to practice what they preach? The results could have long-lasting effects on businesses, as well.
The GDPR (In a Nutshell)
Long story short, on May 25th, 2018, any companies that collect data on European Union residents are responsible for protecting that data. This means that GDPR regulations give EU residents an incredible amount of power over those who access and control the data that organizations collect.
How Have U.S. Citizens Reacted?
A new poll shows that data privacy in the U.S. has become increasingly more important; 73 percent of respondents claimed that it has become a bigger priority, while 64 percent believe that their data security was worse than it had been in the past. 80 percent want a way to determine who has purchased their data, while 83 percent want the ability to veto any organization’s ability to sell the data to others. 64 percent found that they would like the ability to delete this data.
How Has the Government Reacted?
Government agencies have reacted in different ways. One example is the state of California, which has passed the Consumer Privacy Act, which calls for a singular piece of legislation at the federal level that can protect the data of citizens. For the most part, data privacy is addressed through a combination of state laws and potential federal laws.
One of these laws is the Data Care Act, which alerts end users to security breaches while also stating that a service provider cannot legally share a user’s data without the receiving party being beholden to the same confidential standards. Others include the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, which demands transparency and personal control over data, the Consumer Data Protection Act, which could place executives abusing data in prison, and the American Data Dissemination Act, which places a deadline for the government to place privacy requirements on businesses.
Unfortunately, when the Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee met to discuss the possibility of a federal privacy law, there were no representatives for the average consumer–despite the fact that it has been agreed to on numerous instances that such protections are needed. Rather than invite the people the laws are actually designed to protect, lawmakers instead invited technology companies.
Small Business Concerns
Keeping all this in mind, it’s natural that there is a significant lack of support for regulations on the same level as GDPR, particularly out of fear that small businesses would not be able to afford the added costs of compliance with such a law. Here are some of the reasons why such a law could become devastating for small and medium-sized businesses:
- All-encompassing overhauls that would result in lost business
- Business failure due to inadequate budgets to make the demanded changes
- Impeded growth after regulations are put in place
- Prerequisites becoming too great to start a business in the first place
- Costs passed down to SMBs from larger companies for technology services
What are your thoughts on data privacy laws and the world’s response to them? Let us know in the comments.