The Calm After the Storm: Reflections on 5 Years of GDPR Implementation

Missing Link: 5 years GDPR – "The targeted scaremongering has died down"

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in force for five years and remains a topic of contention. For some, it is a bureaucratic nightmare, with annoying cookie banners among the many requirements. For others, it is the global standard in protecting privacy. Despite initial fears, warnings for non-compliance have been relatively few, with legal campaigns against Google Fonts being the main exception. Nonetheless, some companies still try to circumvent the GDPR. Control authorities must continue to adapt to new technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

While some interest in protecting citizens remains, others believe it is slowly dwindling at the EU Council of Ministers and the Commission in Brussels. The planned E-Privacy Regulation to protect the confidentiality of electronic communication, for example, has been blocked by EU states. Patrick Breyer of the Pirate Party argues that this delaying tactic is irresponsible, and calls for better equipment for data protection officers and enforcement powers for authorities.

For Birgit Sippel, the protection of fundamental rights must not increasingly be sacrificed to economic interests. Interest in protecting citizens must remain high, especially with increasing digitization and AI systems. Nonetheless, some continue to manipulate users, and lawmakers must do more to address individual risks.

Overall, the GDPR remains a complex issue, but its intent to protect personal data cannot be ignored. As technology continues to advance, lawmakers must adapt to ensure that privacy is respected.

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