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Ana Azurmendi, Professor at School of Communication. University of Navarra

European Regulation of data Personal. On D-Day and privacy invaders by design

Fri, 25 May 2018 10:42:00 +0000 Posted in group Vocento

D-Day of the European General Data Protection Regulation data has arrived. Impossible not to notice. How many times, this week, have we hit the box at update to consent to all subject of newsletters, information services, travel agencies, online stores, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.? But, clicks aside, is a new rules and regulations necessary, will it do any good, how will it affect my business?

In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to take a step back and look at the Philosophy that inspires the new Regulation. It is none other than the search for a balance between, on the one hand, the need of businesses to have information about their customers, users, suppliers, competitors, etc. -and, on the other hand, the right of citizens to make a free choice in the purchase or use of goods and services. Free because that decision is sufficiently informed and there is an absence of deception or manipulation. When we move from the market to ideology or politics, the citizen's choice must also be free because it is well informed and free from deception or manipulation. Arts that today are easier due to the indiscriminate collection of our personal data .

With the goal of not slowing down the competitiveness of companies, the Regulation offers flexibility for each business to organize its risk prevention plan in subject of protection of data, with the requirement that it can prove to the authority that it has it. To ensure that citizens are protected, the European rules and regulations offers them tools for controlling their data, the most important of which are the recognized rights of access, information, civil service examination, rectification and deletion, to which have been added the right to be forgotten, limitation (or blocking of the processing of data) and portability. Companies are obliged to facilitate the exercise of these rights.

What happens is that in a global panorama, where the big Internet companies, each one in its own specialization program, are monopolies or quasi-monopolies, the threat to citizens' freedom is much stronger than we think. It is true that deception and manipulation of information about goods and services are combated with a battery of international and national laws. But we have a big problem with the risk -also much stronger than we think- of the perversion of the democratic political game. Precisely because of the deception and manipulation of information in matters of ideological and political bias. A bleeding example: Cambridge Analytics. The question last Tuesday of Manfred Weber, MEP, to Mark Zuckerberg, on whether Cambridge Analytics was an isolated case or a tip of the iceberg, and the face of tension of the president of Facebook to hear it was a poem to the disillusionment. The European Regulation here can do little, make no mistake. As Eric Smith, a senior Google executive, writes in his book The New Digital Age. Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business: we are "privacy invaders by design".

That's all there is to it.