Data protection of EU citizens jeopardized

Martin JanoušekData Protection, GDPR Compliance, News

The data protection of EU citizens under the GDPR is officially at risk as Helen Dixon, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), publicly stated that the Irish Regulator does not decide on many citizens’ complaints.

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has a huge responsibility on her shoulders because most of the tech giants (think Google or Facebook) have their headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. But despite their mission of “upholding the fundamental right of individuals in the EU to have their personal data protected,” it turns out that about 99.93% of complaints related to the GDPR result in no decision by the DPC.

Why should you care?

The ability to offer targeted and personalized advertisements is one of the main sources of revenue for companies like Apple or Google. But even these giants have to abide by laws on data protection, pioneered by the GDPR in the EU.

Unfortunately, the authorities have been quite reluctant in enforcing the GDPR protection, resulting in the tech giants constantly implementing new ways of tracking their users. Recently, this led to a lawsuit against Google’s AAID tracker filed in France for tracking Android users without their consent.

If you are an Android user, remember that you have no way to turn off the AAID. And that’s a pretty good reason to be concerned, isn’t it? Regrettably, Apple users face the same problem with Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which also, under GDPR, requires the users’ consent. A complaint against this practice has also been submitted in Germany and Spain.

What’s the solution?

Quite frankly, there’s no easy way to solve this issue. We see that even with a €19.1 million funding, the DPC takes very little action to protect the data privacy of European citizens. Fortunately, the authorities can find inspiration in ICCL’s risk assesment or Max Schrems’ report on the implementation of the GDPR.

There are also several non-profit organizations, spearheaded by noyb, which are doing a tremendous job in helping the authorities to steer their actions towards a more private future for our data. If this is an important topic for you and you’d like to support noyb, consider becoming a member of the community.

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