The number of people who are saying it’s no big deal to comply with this huge law, especially for very small startups, is mind boggling.
Let’s just take one feature: the requirement that you can permanently delete all of your information. Most early-stage startups use the (in 2008, when I did mine) best practice of “delete=1”. Changing your whole database over to permanent cascade delete is only easy if you’re a very experienced programmer or who knows what he’s doing. And that sets aside the fact that even if you know what you’re doing technically, there are lots of business logic problems with just deleting things out of the database and anonymizing users is very tricky.
I was not a great programmer when I started my first startup. I was learning as I went along.
We couldn’t afford a lawyer, and the amount of time for me (the only programmer) to go through and read all the regulations and make all the requisite changes in the product I would estimate might take on the order of a month or two, which if timed poorly would’ve killed our company. I say again: at an early stage startup with one programmer, you cannot have that one programmer spending two months on compliance.
It’s just gotten to the point that there’s one comment after another responding to this regulation or that regulation or this situation or whatever with “well, just call HR“, or “I can’t believe you don’t have a company policy for that!”
Or “well just ask your lawyers“. It ain’t that easy. Do you have any idea how much it would cost to have “your lawyers” go through the GDPR, tell you what you need to do, and deal with all of the edge cases and gray areas? $20k or $30k doesn’t seem too high.
My biggest fear is that all of these complex bureaucratic laws are just raising the bar for doing a startup. Maybe the days of two people doing a startup in someone’s garage should be in the past? If so, that makes me kind of sad.
Regardless it’s not obvious that GDPR is the right policy or that it’s well designed or clear.
I understand that because you are outside the EU you might feel like a target but that is not the point of GDPR. There is no way on earth that the EU as a whole has looked on your company/project or whatever and decided to screw you.
Have a look at the first few paras of this: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX... after it says "Whereas". Does the language look a little familiar? Do the sentiments look strangely familiar in some way?
GDPR is not about destroying people's livelihoods. It is about protecting basic, fundamental rights that say 30 years ago we never knew needed to exist.
After all the knee jerk reactions have calmed down a bit, you may find that you personally have benefited in some way from EU regs. If you find that, then I suggest you fight tooth and nail for similar to be enacted at home. I'll be the first to thank you for that.
If it's only meant to be used against big companies or extreme offenders, why doesn't it say so? It seems like the spirit of the law and the language of the law are not aligned and in my opinion that's a sign of poorly designed regulation.
I object to the idea that small projects should be ok with breaking the law merely because they very likely won't get caught.
If you aren't competent at responsibly handling personal data and you want to build a project or startup, pick one that doesn't handle personal data, or put in the effort to learn how to do things properly.
What kind of online business can reasonably be done without using an email adress, if only for login/resetting password if lost? You either have no option to reset passwords, or must do it by phone, which is extremely expensive.
If you are using a email list in order to fulfill a contract to your members by informing them about times and so on then that is also permitted by GDPR. If a customer buys a subscription then the company in order to fulfill their side of the contract can then naturally store information to do so.
Mailing lists also has had a long history of best practices in order to not get marked as spam by the large email services. Get consent so users don't mark it as spam and allow unsubscribing. If a small yoga studio used a email list for a significant time and not been forced to do shady behavior in order to bypass spam filters, then they are almost guarantied to be compliant with GDRP.
Similar an online business has a contract when a customer buy a product or service. In order to fulfill that contract a email address is commonly used. Perfect GDPR compliant. Hard to imagine a online business before GDRP that did not have a contract with customers.
As long as you do your best to implement the GDPR and interact with the regulatory agency in a friendly and helpful manner then there won't be much need for a lawyer (but do consider that the GDPR being written as it is is also the result of being written in the EU where law is written a bit differently)
I run a company based in the UK, but I myself am American and most of my business experience is in the US. Despite that, I honestly have had no issues adapting to the GDPR. Considering that the business I operate has systems specifically designed to store as much data on people as possible, I find it absurd other businesses are unable to handle user/client data responsibly.
That said, I cared about privacy BEFORE GDPR and intended to act responsibly regardless of regulation.
Otherwise, I would love to hear which part of my comment was orwellian in nature?
The concept of the rule of law was invented primarily in countries that now belong to the EU. Is there no one left there who still thinks it's important? It's not even that people argue "the GDPR couldn't be less vague without loopholes, and this is important enough that it's worth the cost". The idea that a powerful human's best attempt to objectively apply stable, published rules is generally better than a powerful human's unrestrained discretion just seems foreign to most commenters here.
If you ran an organization publicly associated with George Soros in Hungary (whose prime minister has described him as an "enemy of the state"), then would you still feel good relying on your friendly relationship with the government? What steps would you take to comply with the GDPR as it's currently written, if you couldn't rely on the goodwill of the people interpreting it? With a sufficiently corrupt government, there's nothing you can do; but the point where a judge will accept an obvious lie tends to come long after the point where a regulator lets politics disambiguate a vague standard.
If you produce a device that accidentally violates FCC guidelines, would you rather be immediately punished to the extend of the regulation or rather work with the FCC to rectify the issue and how to fix it for affected customers?
The other reason is that yes the GDPR is vague. It must be because in the past corporations have abused loopholes and the only way to prevent people abusing loopholes without punishing people who don't abuse them is to make it vague and then decide on their behaviour.
And again, these are corporations, legal persons. They don't even have the remotely same rights as a natural person.
If I ship a device that fails to comply with FCC rules, then I would prefer that the maximum penalty provided by law is also a fair and reasonable one. I understand that most regulated fields are complex enough that if we don't give regulators some discretion, then the law will be filled with loopholes and impossibly complex; but I would like to give them the minimum discretion they need to do their job. I think the GDPR fails that test spectacularly. Do you really think they need the statutory authority to fine someone 20M EUR for their semi-commercial side project that made $1k lifetime total? If not, then why give it to them?
The GDPR applies to natural persons too. Imagine if it didn't! Facebook could just contract all the creepy stuff to a sole proprietorship operated by Mark Zuckerberg...
ETA: From https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-making-process/types-eu-la...
> Regulations are legal acts that apply automatically and uniformly to all EU countries as soon as they enter into force, without needing to be transposed into national law. They are binding in their entirety on all EU countries.
So not quite the same as the US, though maybe some analogy in that the regulation is still "secondary law", subordinate to the EU treaty? But I don't see how you can describe a set of rules "binding in its entirety" as anything but law.
Stage 1 is when they want to fix it and they express wishes that the industry changes their ways. Stage 2 is the cookie law and Smartphone USB charging. A very vague regulation or law is implemented as a sort of warning for the industry to better go and fix it. Stage 3 is nuclear; GDPR.
The smartphone industry is as mentioned at Stage 2. The EU expressed wishes to reduce the charger garbage, nobody did anything, so they simply put out a regulation that almost literally just says "all smartphones need one common charger". Largely this has been microUSB but vendors are switching to microUSB.
The regulations are to my knowledge and experience also employed and enforced in a similar manner; first you get a nice letter informing you that your website is in violation of X. Ignore that or get aggressive towards the regulatory body and you get a less nicely worded letter with a threat of a fine. Continue that path and you get a fine.
The ultimate goal is that everyone should be compliant but it's okay to be occasionally not as long as you are willing to be helpful and fix it immediately.
>Do you really think they need the statutory authority to fine someone 20M EUR for their semi-commercial side project that made $1k lifetime total? If not, then why give it to them?
They don't you have a legal right for a proportional punishment. Unless your little side project caused damages the fine will be appropriate such that you can pay it without going bankrupt. And if it did you'll have to pay those damages on top of course.
>The GDPR applies to natural persons too. Imagine if it didn't! Facebook could just contract all the creepy stuff to a sole proprietorship operated by Mark Zuckerberg...
It only sorta does, it only does not apply to natural persons while they don't engage in commercial activity.
And a sole proprietorship is to my knowledge a legal person, even if the only natural person involved is 1. (I would know, I am basically one, or rather, small business operator would be the more accurate translation, which also has limits on turnaround and profit)
The sole proprietorship would have less rights than the person behind it and has no option but to fully implement the GDPR in any project or product. A natural person on the other hand, publishing a hobby on the internet with no commercial or business activity (which are different things in german law and you can certainly run a commercial activity without ever touching money or forming contracts).
The GDPR indeed says the punishment should be proportional; but what does that mean to you? Are you sure it would mean the same thing to a regulator? A regulator who dislikes you? If they said that 10k email addresses and MD5-hashed passwords leaked from someone's game server was a worst-case breach, then I'd say that was ridiculous; but I don't see what in the text of the law lets me say that it's objectively false.
The USA has no concept of a separate entity for sole proprietors. It's just you, even if you're trading under a business name. If the GDPR didn't apply to that, then that would be a massive loophole, so I'm pretty sure it does. In any case, the real question is perhaps commercialness, where (a) lots of hobby projects have some small commercial element, ads or donations or a tee shirt or whatever (and to be clear, I do think privacy regulation should apply to them, just more specific regulation); and (b) I strongly suspect the GDPR applies to some noncommercial activity too--would the EU let a political group pull a Cambridge Analytica with all volunteer staff? I haven't researched that, though.
If I lived in Germany, then I'd probably have pretty good faith in my regulators. But imagine the example of that Soros-linked group in Hungary (which I'd edited my first comment to add, so you may have missed it). I don't think that's hypothetical--political organizations keep lots of data, so I suspect that somewhere, a group is making plans to comply with the GDPR, as interpreted by regulators whose government considers them "enemies of the state". What would you do in their place? Wouldn't you wish the text of the regulation gave the regulators less room to maneuver?
Well, they are seperate entities so the loophole exists for how the US handles it but in the EU there is no loophole.
>In any case, the real question is perhaps commercialness
Last I checked you don't need commercial elements like ads, donations or anything like that to be considered commercial. Running your own git server with open registrations would be considered commercial (there is additional seperation in that you don't have to pay taxes unless you are profit-interested).
>I strongly suspect the GDPR applies to some noncommercial activity too-
Monitoring of any kind that is strictly outside private interest.
The EU lets every police force in the EU, or in Interpol request data interception. That is a LOT of organizations, and of course, they got caught doing abuse just the same. But, for instance, the default practice in the US is that you get told your phone is tapped (yes, really), unless the police explains to a judge why not (nearly always), BUT in that case you still get told afterwards. This does not exist in the EU. You will never be told you got tapped.
Second, in the US, the provider looks at the order, verifies it with the proper authorities, and decides for itself on scope, reasonableness, ... etc. In the EU, nope. If an order is received the only actions that a provider can take must be technical in nature. In theory an employee that does the actual tapping of the phone can't even tell his manager he's tapping phones, and definitely he can't tell anyone which phones are to be tapped or why (nor is there any obligation on the part of the requesting force to tell him why, but it is a field on the form). In many countries, this can be done without judicial oversight, or in nearly all cases with only very, very light oversight. This, to me, is far more worrying than the situation in the US.
If a local police officer in Latvia wants to tap the phone of anyone in the EU, he just has to fill out a form and fax it to interpol.
This is even weirder given that Europe has actual experience with abuse of surveillance powers, everywhere from Germany Eastward, as well as during WWII. They KNOW what can go wrong, they just have to ask their parents or grandparents to find people who were actually exposed to this. And yet ...
Next we find out that large-scale spying on the own population is done in, at least, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands ... and not a peep. This was barely reported in the local media, in fact. We all know that most other countries are going to be worse than these, not better. And, of course, they cooperate with the NSA as well.
Hell, the US has reporting on how much they spy on their own citizens (in fact, that's the source of most of the outrage). No such stats in the EU. Nobody, not even the police forces themselves, feels the need to have the most banal, basic level of transparency.
Clearly when it comes to spying the EU is of the opinion, them, yes, perfectly allowed. Think of the children ! I mean, clearly these guys do not believe in privacy.
So yes, it is very Orwellian when they just request that you work with them on the privacy of their citizens. Clearly the result they want is not actual privacy and protections for their citizens.
If they believe in privacy protections, they have a lot of state agencies that they need to attack for not having any decent respect for privacy, as well as the fact that what few protections do exist only exist in a vast complex tangled web that errs on the side of violating people's privacy. And that's ignoring the fact that privacy protections have been systematically eroded further and further in Europe (e.g. recently in Germany).
They actually do, the german police for example, generally destroys any video or image footage they make after 24 hours if there is no reason to believe they would help solve a crime.
I can't say anything about Latvia but in germany atleast the privacy of letter and remote communication is heavily protected and usually not granted lightly (exceptions being stuff like actual nazis)
People are definitely aware of the past and there is always a lot of outcry whenever a new law attempts to encroach on that territory, politicians have destroyed their careers with such proposals.
>And that's ignoring the fact that privacy protections have been systematically eroded further and further in Europe (e.g. recently in Germany).
Please note that the BND, the german intelligence service, recently shutdown a surveillance program after several thousands of people requested the deletion of their datasets.
>You will never be told you got tapped.
I don't understand why you should be told that the police is trying to get evidence of you doing a crime? Or someone else's crime?
Again, we have different laws and legal systems (!) in the EU up to and including not having the US constitutions. I think it would benefit the conversation if you recognize these differences instead of applying american laws and principles on the EU.
Source ? This, to me, seems unlikely in the extreme. I mean this is strict enough that even I would agree they would regularly shoot themselves in the foot with such a policy.
> Please note that the BND, the german intelligence service, recently shutdown a surveillance program after several thousands of people requested the deletion of their datasets.
I doubt it's the only one. Call me when they change the law back so they can't legally do this.
> I don't understand why you should be told that the police is trying to get evidence of you doing a crime? Or someone else's crime?
The idea, in the US, is that you get informed afterwards. How else will you sue the police if it wasn't reasonable at all ? How will abuses be discovered ?
Keep in mind that more than a few police officers have been sued for using surveillance on women they were merely interested in, in some cases then proceeding to beat up and harass other interested parties. I doubt that this behavior is in fact limited to (a few) US cops, we both know the truth is that (some) EU cops simply get away with it.
General guidance policy and numerous court cases. Not all footage is 24 hours, most is however. Some exceptions go for 48 hours. [http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/list/2010/http://www.polize...]
Video surveillance, especially when in public spaces, is frowned upon and there is a long rat tail of court cases.
The law is very strict in when, what, who and how long video surveillance is allowed, including the 24 hour limits, though in case a crime is suspected the footage can be kept for 14 days until a crime is confirmed. [https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_bes_text?anw_nr=2&gld_nr=2&u...]
>we both know the truth is that (some) EU cops simply get away with it.
Generally, they are reprimanded or even punished when such behaviour is discovered as it is a violation of various laws, including privacy.
>How else will you sue the police if it wasn't reasonable at all ? How will abuses be discovered ?
Generally, any evidence the police brings up in a court case requires that the police has an explanation on how they got to that evidence. That may have been illegal, in which case a second case might be brought up and the involved officers will be punished.
However, unless the evidence they collected is wrong due to the surveillance (the bar is very low on the police being guilty of forcing you to commit a crime), the evidence will be used regardless (a few edgecases but generally evidence is not poisoned if gained by wrong means like in the US IIRC).
>I doubt it's the only one. Call me when they change the law back so they can't legally do this
Already is, which is in part why the BND stopped this too.
The bar is high for someone tapping the phone or otherwise doing remote communication surveillance, [GzBBPF, Section 1, 2, 4 and 7]. Unless there is a very strong suspicious that you commited treason or commited a federal crime and there is absolutely no other way to prove you did it, they can't legally tap the phone.
Basic dependencies of your argument: the police force will never abuse surveillance, then not make a court case out of it.
Second basic dependency of your argument: the court will easily rule against the very forces they depend on if they find violations.
These are reports German police officers that got caught, shall we say, being VERY untrustworthy:
So I feel like I've provided plenty of evidence that the police cannot be trusted to act correctly, or even just sane. The German police, clearly, is no exception to this rule. Therefore Germany trusting them to do the right thing is just hiding abuse, not preventing it.
You also left the question unanswered: if tapping is so correctly and justly done, then why does it need to be such a big secret ? There is a case to be made that, sometimes, it needs to be kept secret DURING an investigation, but why afterwards ? In many cases, even that is not necessary, when for instance following or tracing someone who was brought in to the police station, it seems to me like there is no reason whatsoever to keep it a secret that the police reads his mail/call logs/... Why do they want this perpetual secrecy, if not to hide abuse ?
The answer is very simple: because Germany hires neonazis, cannibals, violent bullies and worse into their police force, and police officers like those are also trusted with tapping people's conversations.
Now compliance is largely handled by the tool makers, and the Yoga studio can focus on their business case and any custom coded extensions to ensure they remain compliant. (For popular stuff like Apache, compliant configurations are probably already available or will be shortly, once we all figure out if we are allowed to keep logging IP addresses by default.)
I'm not sure I understand the email jab; obviously you can store data, you just must obtain consent first, and must allow the data to be deleted on request. That's an opt-in mailing list with an unsubscribe feature that actually works and properly deletes the relevant data. Why should that be difficult for a small business to do right?
You just gave a perfect example of why GDPR will hurt startups and innovation.
Stop logging the IP address then. Hopefully default settings in web servers will change.
> What kind of online business can reasonably be done without using an email adress, if only for login/resetting password if lost?
That means you have a legitimate interest, so long as you don't send marketing emails to those addresses, or sell them, and so long as you delete them if someone deletes their account.
> How does for example a small yoga studio’s email list fit in your examples?
If someone signs up to your email list, they've consented to receiving emails. Just don't sell the list, and remove people if they unsubscribe.
The only real complication (if you're in the UK, I don't know about other countries) is that there is a fee to register as a data controller. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-fee/
the thing is not about doing what you propose but that however you‘re doing it, you have a lot of bureaucracy and legal insecurity right now.
The examples of wrongdoing you give should be leading to hard measures.
But those with good intentions shouldn’t have high bureaucracy costs.
To be clear: i don’t say these laws shouldn’t exist. They just should have been targeted at the actual wrongdoers and put smallest possible burden on all with no bad intentions.
Then you have a legitimate need for the data, so store it for a reasonable length of time and then delete it.
People repeat this a lot, but it sounds like complete nonsense.
Why does your business need to perform “security anslysis in case of attacks”? Do you get paid to do that? Why would you need IP addresses for that?
Another example is logging requests to secure sections of the site and/or server and perform IP blocks on fishy activity.
I don't see why the IPs would ever have to hit the disk for this purpose, just keep them cached in RAM for a few minutes.
the only way round this is to make the webserver spend a non-trivial amount of time running some derivation function on the IP for each and every request (remember you can't cache the result if the entire point is not to store the IP)
The problem is that it's possible and that is where the GDPR hooks in.
Put another way:
If the goal is to prevent certain actions by making them illegal
and a given boundary can already ensure that, whats the point in widening that boundary even more?
Atleast in germany the boundary has not been widened and most corporations seemed to operate just fine.
> Just because if the name is added to such a database of cars produced, it will be personal identifying?
When you add data to your database you'll have to consider this, yes.
Privacy under the GDPR means that you evaluate whether or not it is necessary to store such data.
Why? Because the GDPR is not only about the present but also about potential problems. If your database gets breached and someone runs of with the data, the GDPR seeks to ensure that the data contained is the absolute minimum necessary and does not threaten the privacy of the users if possible.
Under GDPR you do not own data like car color, built, model, extras. People give you stewardship of the data and you are responsible for it. It is your task to protect it. Protecting people's data is easier when you don't have as much of it.
But in legal matters, you need to identify people and have some kind of audit trail, especially if they tried to breach your system. That makes no sense.
If IP addresses in logs are necessary for audit trails, why aren’t fingeprints?
That doesn’t help.
IP adresses are not 1:1 assigned to a person for a whole lifetime, fingerprints are.
Only with a lot additional effort and connection to other databases, IP adresses can actually be connected with a person, but only for an uncertain period of time, finding out this timespan, and ensuring it’s really only exactly this one person requires even more effort.
So a properly crafted law would have made all these efforts illegal, and put high fines on them, but not the decades old practice of storing ip adresses in logfiles.
I understand audit logging for authenticated users, but that's hardly a general case.
I want to be protected from marketing firms that sell my email adress , and everyone who uses it to send me mails for whatever product to buy judt because i entered it for some totally different reason. Those shall be fined with 5 figure amounts.
I don’t see how my(and my housemates/office colleagues etc) ip in the logfiles of the webserver which a small business rented for 3€ to upload 3 html filed can be abused (without storing my email and name without consent which is actual personal data and therefore illegal) and i dont want my hairdresser, car mechanic etc be in need to consult a lawyer to understand all that stuff and have a day worth of bureaucracy and adfing a “we have your current ip in the logs” note just because they want me to be able to google their street adresses.
The law is simply not well crafted for no use if the latter is the case.
Or, alternatively, just don't do business where it would put you under the jurisdiction of the GDPR. That's what a lot of companies are doing, and there seems to be a lot of resentment over it.
Yeah, and that resentment makes no sense to me either. In both cases it's simply people doing what, in their estimation, makes the best use of their available resources.
Because, and this has been repeated millions of times on HN, Europe and the US follow different systems in writing laws
Tax law is probably the most common example of this.
In the latter it just confounds me that the legislators set up a situation, where a small business in the UK is better off not selling a digital good (that you can make infinite copies of) to a buyer in Malta, because the bureaucracy would cost more than the sale would pay. You can't have a "single market" like that.
Have you read the bloody law! http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX...
This is legislation designed to protect not only me (as an individual) but you as well (as a probable foreigner) from me!
Out of an 88 page law, 1% of an auxiliary middle of the law is carved out for small companies.
I'm not sure that counts as differential application for small companies. In the US at least, large portions of entire key burdensome laws don't apply for employers below size 50, 10, 5, etc. This does not seem to be the case here.
Does anyone know whether an official impact study on innovation was even done before its passage?
The law may be good as a whole but be overly burdensome for small companies. You should at least acknowledge that instead of just dismissing that outright.
At least my reading of the GDRP is that it tries very hard not be a big burden. If you are a small company or organisation and you collect a minimal amount of information (for example to contact them) there is not a lot you have to do.
The main thing is, you are not allowed to be sloppy. If you collect personal data, you have to think about whether you should collect it at all, where to store it, process it, and when to delete it. And you have to tell people that before you ask them for personal data.
Nothing like, we just collect a bunch of data, give copies to everybody, and have no idea what we collected. That attitude no longer works.
If you set up food regulations, are you going to exempt restaurants with only one cook? Or have aviation regulations that do not apply to airlines with only one pilot?
Given that the entire GDRP is less then a hundred pages, you can easily read it in one evening and get an idea of what you can do, have to do, and what the corner cases are that you may need to discuss with a lawyer.
But restaurants with only one cook can't afford a $300/h lawyer to tell them how to keep their shit hygienic!
If it turns out that you are in breach, they will write to you with information about what you're doign wrong and how to fix it.
In the EU we don't rely on lawyers for a fraction of the stuff you do in the US.
So if it's "innovative" a small 5-person startup should be able to wreak havoc to my personal data in whatever way they see fit? What is that nonsense. Are you seriously suggesting that "innovation" in startups should be more important than my privacy?
No matter what the ultimate decision is, no matter how sensitive the subject matter, impact studies are critical to making smart decisions.
I think you're justifying a really extreme reaction based on the worst behavior of a few companies. GDPR doesn't just go after data-resellers. It targets how a well-intended company can use and keep your data even with no third party involved.
Laws that mess up the good-guys lives are bad laws. GDPR is from the same folks who thought a law that lead to pestering users about cookies was a good idea.
Also I like the cookie idea. If only people really cared about misuse of their data they'd like it too. We've seen how good 3rd party cookies have been for some democracies.
>All well intentioned gun enthusiasts should support it.
Really black/white argument there which the issue is not. And nor is this topic. There should be more nuance in GDPR, but there isn't which creates a lot of discomfort.
>It's not stopping any well intended company from fairly using data.
It actually is, but whether or not that is an overall good thing is yet to be seen. Certainly, they did some level of testing before proceeding.
I might say yes but I still want an impact study.
I prefer governing bodies operate with an awareness of how their actions affect society.
No, and it is dishonest of you to suggest that was claimed.
> impact studies are critical to making smart decisions.
Which were done as was consulting with industry etc. well before the law was passed two years ago.
And yes, I've read the law. It's typical of legislation in that it obviously wasn't written by people who knew what it looked like to perform that in a real life business.
Have you read recital 1? https://gdpr-info.eu/recitals/no-1/ ? The starting point of the law is that data protoection is a fundamental human right,. The data subject owns their PII, not some company collecting it.
It's all up whether you are willing to accept that as a fundamental right or not.
I mean there is a billion of Chinese that live with the fact that free speech is not a fundamental human right. Most Westerners have a problem with that.
Now many US based IT professionals seems to have problems with accepting that nobody else can own the data about a human.
> It's typical of legislation in that it obviously wasn't written by people who knew what it looked like to perform that in a real life business.
That's what a cotton farmer could have said when they made slavery illegal. Obviously respecting other's human rights makes some business models illegal.
> The starting point of the law is that data protoection is a fundamental human right,. The data subject owns their PII, not some company collecting it.
> It's all up whether you are willing to accept that as a fundamental right or not.
As a fundamental right, doesn't that mean that the government needs to abide by it as well? Can an EU resident demand that their image be removed from all footage collected by public surveillance cameras, for example?
> Now many US based IT professionals seems to have problems with accepting that nobody else can own the data about a human.
I think the idea that someone can own facts about anything is bound to cause some amount of confusion or even cognitive dissonance.
At what point does one's right to be forgotten supersede another's right to remember?
If Alice knows something about Bob because of their personal interactions, as he asks her to forget about it, but she still remembers it, is she violating Bob's right to be forgotten? How about if she had written it down in a journal? Does she need to erase what she wrote? What if her journal was stored electronically? In any of these cases is she allowed to tell another person? What if she already told another person before Bob told her to forget about it?
More concretely, suppose Bob visits Alice's house, and then a couple of weeks later tells Alice that she must forget that he visited. If she ignores his request is she violating Bob's rights?
Now suppose Bob is visiting Alice's website, which records his IP address in a log file. Bob asks to be removed from the log, and again Alice ignores his request.
I think for many technically minded people there seems like an awfully smooth gradient between these last two scenarios, and so classifying one as reasonable and the other as a violation of human rights can be surprising. Precisely where is the line drawn that makes one scenario reasonable, while the other is completely unacceptable?
Yes, in Germany, everyone, meaning citizen(EU/EEA) or not, enjoys the right of forgotten from surveillance cameras or any image/personal information that is not subject to the legal registry, from public record beyond 90 days. Unless you are targeted for an otherwise legal reason.
Personal anecdote: I was involved in a student demonstration once that ended with the police recording every individual separately in addition to checking our national ID cards. After about 14 days I wrote them a letter requesting information about what data they had kept and to destroy that data if it is not part of an active investigation.
I received a formal response saying they had already destroyed the data shortly after collecting it because they didn't end up needing it.
I presume the law is exactly the same as with any other organisation, i.e. the BDSG (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) which as of now implements the GDPR (DSGVO) in Germany.
No, no-one can force you legally to forget something, and I think this brings up the main problem with your argument, which is that we're not talking about Alice and Bob, we're talking about Alice and Bob's Widgets INC.
I'm technically minded and I see a 100% separation between the interaction between Alice and Bob, and Alice and Bob's Widgets INC. Yes, I do think it's completely reasonable for Alice to ask bob to be removed from log files, journals whatever.
Lets look at a parallel you drew:
> More concretely, suppose Bob visits Alice's house, and then a couple of weeks later tells Alice that she must forget that he visited. If she ignores his request is she violating Bob's rights?
I wouldn't say that Alice is violating anyone's rights here. Being unreasonable, yes. Asking for something with no legal or enforceable basis, yes.
> Now suppose Bob is visiting Alice's website, which records his IP address in a log file. Bob asks to be removed from the log, and again Alice ignores his request.
This is a non sequitur, these are different scenarios with different requests, just with the names kept the same. Businesses aren't people, and they don't have memories like people. Businesses don't (for the most part, legal actions notwithstanding) need IP address information. It can be helpful, certainly. Knowing your customer has returned, knowing what they have looked at etc., but it's not essential.
So yes, it's reasonable to ask for removal from logs, and no, it isn't reasonable to ask someone to forget you visited their house.
In the US, corporations are people.
In the EU, corporations are legal persons but don't inherently enjoy the same rights/protections as natural persons (i.e. humans).
Just remember the Hobby Lobby ruling: in the US, corporations can have religious beliefs. In the EU that sentence doesn't make any sense because a corporation cannot hold beliefs (though the people employed by or owning it can).
> in the US, corporations can have religious beliefs. In the EU that sentence doesn't make any sense because --
It doesn't make sense because in the EU we didn't artificially create a legal construct to support the notion of corporations having religious beliefs (or "being people").
Please don't act as if both ideas are equally valid descriptions of the real world when one of them is strictly a legal fiction and completely meaningless in any other sense.
I'm sorry but just like the notion that a 2-person startup would need $300/h lawyers for any significant amount of time to ascertain they're sufficiently in compliance with the GDPR to not get sued into oblivion (.. or something? over here people can just read and implement the needed provisions by themselves in under a week, is what I heard from my friends in the business), this seems to be a problem inside the US legal system, doesn't really seem to me like it's the EU's problem to take into account when it's broken like that.
I assume you mean Alice's Widgets INC., since Alice was the one with the website.
But in any case, I didn't say "Alice's business's website". I said "Alice's website", as in her personal website. Are you saying that an individual's website can record visitor's IP addresses and store them indefinitely, but a business cannot?
1. don't be unreasonable
2. be acceptable
That's a good point. The term "fundamental right" occurs only the recitals, not in the law itself IIRC. The laws applies to authorities, but not when they carry out the legal tasks in prosecuting and preventing crimes and dealing with public security. So you would not have any rights with respect to video surveillance by authorities, unless you could prove that that is not done for public security :(
When it comes to authorities practices differ a lot in the EU. Let me give 2 examples because I live/lived there
1. In Germany video surveillance of public spaces is not very popular. One of the biggest cities in Germany, Frankfurt/M. seems to have 6 (six) such cameras now. And whenever there is a new one, it still makes big headlines http://www.fnp.de/lokales/frankfurt/Datenschuetzer-Es-wird-z... (In socialist East Germany they had them already in the 1980, but I am sure they all disappeared in 1990)
Google has stopped rolling out Streetview in the very early beginnings. Not that it is an authority, but it shows the public opinion, even if it's a single picture every couple of years and faces are blurred.
It appears that the resistance is more and more broken. At my last visits in Germany I saw cameras on trains/buses for the first time. I'd assume they are not counted as public spaces, but private properties. Which is a problematic classification considering their function. In Northern Ireland cameras were standard on buses already in the 1990s, no idea for how long before that.
When you get a German passport they will store the fingerprint on it (I guess that's a nearly world-wide standard for machine readable passports). However, in Germany they make a big fuzz about it that the fingerprint is erased from all databases as soon as you have accepted your new passport. If you detect a typo in your passport after accepting it, you have to apply for a new one, pay again and have your fingerprints taken again.
2. In Finland public videos surveillance has existed in all big cities (not that there are many...) for decades. There are also street condition (think snow) cameras on the internet. It's not their purpose, but some of them show fully identifiable people when they happen to walk by. Not many people seem to be bothered about it.
In Finland the fingerprints for the passports are stored until there will be a law how they are allowed to be used. Only few people believe that the police would not use them to solve a high profile crime before the law is ready.
A common Europe is still a big fiction in many aspects.
I think the GDPR would protect them because of a number of factors:
* there's a legitimate security interest (vandalism, terrorism, rape and other personal crimes)
* the recordings are not stored longer than necessary to fulfill that purpose
* there is clear signage indicating you are entering an area with surveillance cameras (i.e. you are giving informed consent)
The GDPR protects the individual's right to privacy but it's a balancing act and the security interests are fairly valid.
So if I don't want to be filmed on the bus I take a taxi for 10 times the price? (Not sure whether they might have cameras, too. Haven't taken a taxi in Germany for many years.) Or I walk 2 hours?
That's not what I would call informed consent. It's information yes, but as long as there are no competing bus lines without cameras there is no choice really.
But the laws regarding it are not clear for an actual operating business. Instead of being simple and straightforward to implement, they are an ambiguous mess that are wasteful and misplaced. Laws designed that way almost never actually accomplish what they set out to do.
I am not sure I can fully follow you here.
If implementers accepted that they only collect what is absolutely necessary and they delete what the they are not legally requited to keep things would be much easier.
Problems start when the business model is that customers'/users' data is our product/an asset and we somehow try the find the minimum possible implementation that just meets the requirements of the law while still using all loopholes it might possibly leave.
I agree that the law is not very clear for how you should code it. Nor very detailed what you can do with a certain piece of data. So it depends on your approach: If you take a conservative approach that if in doubt, we don't keep the data it suddenly gets much clearer. If you start fiddling maybe I could still do it if we did it like this and that you end up in endless work.
And of course if you have an existing system that never had the requirement of deleting anything there is a lot of work. But the law has been in force for 2 years, so businesses that wake up now when the transition period has ended it can be a mess.
>Laws designed that way almost never actually accomplish what they set out to do.
How would you have written the law? Do you have counter-examples of laws being written so clearly that you could recommend them?
The key point really is: Many business models and practices on the internet are incompatible with the spirit of GDPR. It's a fundamental right that the users own their data and businesses are not allowed to do with it whatever they want.
Lawmakers did not want it write it that so clearly, because lobbyists would not have accepted it. And business owners still don't want to accept any suich fundamental right. So complaining about the law being too complicated is somewhat canting.
Yeah, it might be getting harder making a startup working on personally-identifiable data - even if it's not doing anything shady. But it's also hard to make a food or healthcare startup; you can't just "move fast and break things" there either. In EU, PII were finally granted the status of something actually important.
As for startups that depend on abusing user data, I'm very happy they have problems now.
- personal data (car) are any data that have potential identifying a person
- person owns its data (car). You cant buy them (well this part is different than the car), you cant steal them, you cant sell them, but you can borrow them from. But for that you need to ask (consent), where it is not allowed to trick the owner to give them to you, whithout beeing fully aware what was borrowed and why. And if you are borrowing the data for someone else, you need to ask about that too. And tell when you will return it.
- it is immature and unfair to play grumpy if someone doesn't want to allow to use its data. Or try to force/blackmail them from him. So its not allowed to do that (noyb.eu)
- once you borrow the data (like property, envision a car), behave acordingly, owner can demand them back, demand to see them, demand to know what you are doing with them and if stolen it is completely normal to tell them about that. And if they were stolen due to your fault (leaving keys in a car), they might demand to be compensated. Same goes if you misuse them (let me put some fertiliziers on back seat, forget to return them, giving it to all your friends without asking,...)
- if the data owner asks you to do something that requires his data ("hey, can you please take my car and bring me icecream from the store") you don't need to ask for data, it is expected you can have them.
Did I forget something? I consider it simple, as long as you try to stay genuinly respecting to other persons ownership. Just think about borrowing your car or borrowing car from your best friend and you wont go far wrong.
if yoi tell me your birthday how can i forget it?
if you borrow me a car i have something i can return...
That's not really relevant. GDPR doesn't ask people to forget things out of their minds.
So let's rephrase to a more relevant example:
> if yoi provide me your birthday on a web form and I put it in a database how can i forget it?
This now becomes relevant, and easy do answer. You delete it.
Ask any husband.
Joking aside, if the memory is on a computer system, as opposed to a person, you can, you know, just delete it.
Obviously, removing the commit would break git's ability to sign any hashes for that repository after that point…
And thinking it through a bit more, what about the companies that use v8? Could I ask my regulator to get Joyent to remove it from their systems? I'm sure they have copies…
You entirely missed the point of my hypothetical, which was about immutable data structures like git employs.
As it turns out, our business also uses a git-like hash-chained commit log for our normal database. Deleting old entries would thus violate the integrity of our database. Is that now illegal under the GDPR?
Law has nuance and cases (and corner cases), it's not some strict predicate.
Actually, just because one critcices the way the law is made doesn’t mean they think it’s basic intention is wrong.
As of your slavery example:
Forbidding slavery is one(good) thing. Saying „everbody having somebody work for them out of anything but total free will and not being able to prove it is doing forbidden slavery“ is something else.
If i must work because i need to eat and pay rent, is that total free will?
How can anyone prove that?
So sure, the wording is extremely important.
We're a small agency and all of the legal worries around the GDPR have essentially put one of our revenue streams on hold until we sort out the legalities. Like the comment above, we simply do not have $300/hr available for lawyers to go over everything.
That's great that your company works well with GDPR. I imagine many companies will. I'm also sure that the impact on your backups could have been had without the law if you so chose.
However, an organisation that works inside the UK (EU) serving many EU paying customers (presuming here) is very different from say, Instapaper, who pulled out of the EU today because they don't make very much money from EU customers.
If we pass a regulation that says everyone who is in New York for any amount of time must pass an annual 1 hour health exam (conducted by NY state), I imagine this to be totally acceptable to New Yorkers. It correlates with good public policy: you prevent communicable diseases, and can catch health problem before it gets big. However, if this rule were to be enforced strongly, someone who might stop by once or twice a year probably is better off never coming.
Edit: duely noted. Libertarian capitalists of hacker news do not agree.
Here's a hint: my dentist is actively harming me when taking out a tooth.
if that was true you wouldn't pay them to do it. They are causing you pain in the short term, yes. That's not the same as harm.
...or maybe I shouldn't have used this site if I didn't want to be exposed. This is going to end up being less exposure for the EU to things on the internet until someone figures out how to monetize them. If they cost money without somehow contributing something they will be actively excluded.
I'm not too worried about your browser cache, but it could under the right circumstances give you some small power to harm me, yes.
There is a lot of complications that arise if you think about the second order/third order consequences of the law.
The answer to “How do you handle...” is that you get your shit together. Separation of duties, build and configuration standards, no customer data on random laptops.
When I was in high school, I worked at a sandwich/coffee shop. The precious commodity in that store was cash. We didn’t leave cash on a counter, or on a roll in our pockets it was in a locked register. When there was more than $500, we withdrew down to $250 and put the cash in a safe. At the end of the night, we put the cash in a locked pouch and two of us walked to the bank and put it in a dropbox.
Data is no different, just more complex.
The word choice almost presumes the conclusion, that data privacy rules are obvious, and cheap, and akin to just washing hands after using the toilet.
Every regulation has costs and benefits. I also would love to have better worldwide privacy at no or little cost, but the fact that people are blocking the EU shows that some companies just don't see this to be the case. And they're voting with their feet.
EU citizens should accept the fact that if they support the law, they will further data privacy protections, which are good, and they will face the music if some innovation leaves or whatever compliance costs may come with it.
Yes, no matter. Should small companies also get free pass on food safety laws? Health inspections are a PITA for restaurants too.
This reaction is pretty much textbook psychological reactance. People doing business had some freedoms wrt. user data, but it turned out in practice that they should never have them in the first place. Now that those excess freedoms are being removed, businesses cry foul.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_(psychology)
But if you look at how reality works, then you'll see that small companies often do not implement the proper food safety standards. This causes all sorts of problems, because if a company already does one shady thing, then doing one more isn't as much of a problem anymore.
The contempt shown for us collectively as users and people is what triggered the regulatory backlash.
The 2016 electron demonstrated that better than anything why this is important.
As mentioned before, size limits is probably good for compliance costs; if the problem is political influence, make that a key part of the law. Making part of the law liability per privacy breach can be useful too (to deter companies from lax security that end up with them hacked).
Legislators don't have the luxury of saying "I'm not totally sure what's the best legislation" to fix this issue; they are forced to propose an actual fix. If you don't have a better alternative on hand, I'd urge you to consider that which legislators have arrived upon after months or years of consideration.
Like encryption, data privacy is either all or nothing.
And personally? I'd rather live in a world without tracking-enabled Google and Facebook business models than the one we're currently in.
Holding personally identifiable data is a toxic externality: Experian simply exposed a clear case.
If you want to do so, you should have to bear that cost. Or design your business model differently so that you don't.
For example ACA 2012 (Obamacare) applies the most onerous terms on companies greater than 50, but not a lot of 100 person companies split into two groups of 50 to dodge it.
I think privacy is indeed along a spectrum and not binary.
I certainly think that EU citizens are more concerned with Facebook and the vast trove of data they have and political irresponsibility with it than with GarethsFirstApp in the Android store handling user data well.
And I'd point out that the latest Facebook media privacy outrage was caused by a smaller (1 person?) third party company.
GarethsFirstApp isn't so innocent when it's providing Facebook with data they can no longer collect themselves (given a hypothetical "You're small, so we'll let you get away with it" GDPR).
So based on that some might argue, that the small bussinesses should be regulated more as majority of violations are comming from them, not well established bussinesses. It is probably not true, but it might also be.
So... binary only is a right way to go.
Yes it is
My reading of them finds no second/third order anything. The regs are surprisingly clear.
I forgot to mention that unless you are trying to abuse EU citizens in some way then you have no problems. A useful side effect of the internet is that deciding whether someone is an EU citizen or not is tricky. That means that most companies have decided to treat all citizens in nearly the same way:
For you as a private individual, a foreign power now provides you (indirectly) with way more "rights" than you might have had in the past on the internet. Have a read of the regs, please. The first few paras are a bit "we the people" but then, that is what is required. Then go through the articles. Read them as a person first and then consider them as a company or whatever you do later.
Half of commenters are making this assertion; the other half are asserting it's a damn good thing that small companies will be eviscerated for insufficient seriousness, whether or not they are doing anything abusive. Some of you are necessarily wrong.
This is an 88 page document with extremely dry language. Just confirming your assertion will be time consuming. No wonder many American services would rather shut out EU users than comply.
If you own a business, the cost of reading this document is about 2 days (with consideration for googling terms). To disenfranchise a whole continent because you are inconvenienced is ridiculous.
Put it a different way: are you too busy to read docs/specs of the technology you are using or will you abandon it because specs are too dry?
American services are just busy because they are doing their best to keep the lights on. Within a week, the handful of companies will comply. They’re just cautious because they have to pay folks and don’t want to make a silly mistake that will shut down their business.
I've been watching experienced lawyers, general counsels, etc from various companies, vendors, etc literally yell at each other about some of the finer points of the laws. It's quite fuzzy on a lot of things, and get REALLY complicated in some cases, especially when dealing with 3rd party vendors, or when you are yourself the third party vendor. Certain patterns, technologies and software are very hard to retrofit properly. Some concepts like the business justification stuff gets really fuzzy when handling things like free accounts.
If you make any amount of reasonable money, you need a lawyer to work with your devs (hope you didn't outsource the work!) on a lot of this. And your usual lawyer, if in the US, might not be qualified to deal with EU laws. It's a tough situation. For businesses that don't even target EU markets on purpose, well...
If you're a medium to large international business, then this is just business as usual: dealing with new laws popping up, small or large, is just something you do. It sucks, but hey: it increases the barrier for entry of your next competitor!!
Disclaimer: I think GDPR is fine, and in a few years when every new startup or mom and pop company and 3rd parties are all setup for it, it will be a no brainer, just like email (not many people running their own email servers these days!). But the transition is hard, especially on smaller players.
> When the regulation does not apply
> Provided your company doesn't specifically target its services at individuals in the EU, it is not subject to the rules of the GDPR.
I totally agree with you. But like you said, "It sucks, but hey...". That's totally the approach.
Yeah, it sucks, and what's new? There is always something that sucks. Within the next two months, there is: TLS1.2, new PCI guidelines, and GDPR that go live.
GDPR has more nuance then most other situations but just like PCI, you just deal with it.
What I imagine is this situation is like a bunch of stores stop taking credit cards because the new PCI guidelines require TLS1.2, anonymized customer data, and all customer data stored at rest to be encrypted or hashed.
Would folks have same reaction if their neighborhood deli said "fuck it!" I ain't protecting the CC data cause its tough and requires too much work?
But yes, once there's an industry of GDPR auditors, precedents in lawsuits, and the threshold for "Do not market explicitly to europeans" is obvious and well understood, this will be much easier.
And still, until the end of time, there will be companies that aren't GDPR compliant and don't work with EU customers. Maybe with the goal of doing so once they have more time and resources.
It's basically a checklist, and you're either compliant or you're not. It includes various levels with actual numbers and explicit requirements, there's very little interpretation needed.
If anything, it should've served as the model for GDPR.
The GDPR is most of my job right now, and I have a relevant background. To say that the cost of reading the document is two days clearly shows that you have very little idea of what the law means. I've been arguing with other privacy professionals about the details of this law and how to implement it likely for longer than you've known about it, and on a number of those questions there is still no consensus.
This is an incredibly expensive regulation to comply for most small and medium companies not because they're doing villainous things with the data, but because learning this law and then documenting your compliance for this law is ridiculously expensive for many types of businesses.
Lets swap GDPR for PCI compliance, which has a new standard (or fully implemented standard, if you may) coming soon. PCI deals with credit card information.
My relevant background allows me to make a few assumptions:
1. If you are in the US.
2. AND you have visited a Quick Service restaurant in the last five years (think Subways, Chipotle, etc.)
3. AND they use one of the major POS (point of sale) providers.
That your credit card, name, expiration date, and CVV is in plain text.
You may know the GPDR very well, as it is your job and you are most likely very qualified for it. And yes, there are probably lots of nuances to this law. However, thats every single law there is, every standard, guidelines, etc.
I'm not entitled. I am, however, a realist that understands that you just have to comply. Taking two days to read the 88 page PDF will make you more familiar then most. It might not make you an expert but for a small to medium sized business, it would give you the necessary tools to comply with majority of the law.
Quite frankly, I don't have a bunch of lawyers and I do have to implement GDPR. Will there be an official review? YES. There will be folks who know more then I and are professionals to double check my work. But I can't tell my stakeholders "Sorry, We can't do that because its just too tough". That seems entitled...
It’s like complying with 99% of securities laws and forgetting to comply with the insider trading laws. That’s not a defense.
Oh, please. To not offer a service or website or whatever to people half a world away is not to "disenfranchise" them. I don't think you have room to call anyone else's comments "silly".
When I was 20/21, I worked at PJ Clarke's on the Hudson, a restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Back then, the Merc was still staffed by traders on all floors (they switched to computerized trade desks, I believe, and there were less people there).
During one shift, I had a party of 10+ people and had to grab extra tables from other area. The tables had tops made from granite and heavy. As I was moving the table, the majority owner Phil Scotti jumped in and started helping me. I said something like "I got it" and he looked me in the eye and said "Anything for a buck".
That quote might not be popular but I what I realized is that work is work and money is money. If a multi-millionaire could move tables and his wife (in custom, expensive, suits) can bus tables, then yes...Disenfranchising, or not servicing a bunch of folks, because you don't feel like it is fucking stupid.
I apologize for calling it silly.
This regulation calls for legal expertise, trusting google to save on fees seems risky for a business. In all seriousness, biz owners should shell out for expert advice for compliance, or stop doing business in the EU.
Google and Fb have already seen litigious groups claim $9.3B in fines on the first day. There will certainly be a cottage industry of lawyers going after online businesses that have erred with GDPR.
People can refer an issue to the regulators claiming that the GPDR has been violated. The regulators will determine if they believe the regulations have been violated and whether it's a large enough violation to enforce. If fines are levied they go to the government and are intended to be punitive, hence the percentage of revenue as the max fine so that you can't just ignore the regulation by being rich.
No individual or group other than the government is going to make money off of this, and the government has to balance the loss in taxes and cost to enforce against any gain from a fine.
This whole kerfuffle about the GPDR has just shown that american companies will lose their fucking mind if they have to follow anyone else's rules and can't just lobby the US government to force their laws on everyone else.
Shame on them for ignoring the law for that long, just because there weren't any fines yet.
Incorrect. They are civil right groups, which filed complaints with the authorities. Even if the complaints were fully accepted and the offenders fined to the maximum possible amount the groups would not "earn" a cent.
In my opinion you absolutely hit the nail on the head with this:
"If you own a business, the cost of reading this document is about 2 days"
Umm, no, I won't read them?
I seriously cannot remember the past time so ever went and read all the official docs for a new tech.
Instead I learning by doing, and reading stack overflow.
If I have to read through 50 pages of docs to use something, I seriously am just going to use something else.
These same arguments could be applied to just dumping waste from manufacturing in the rivers. Does "If I have to spend 50 days disposing of my waste in a way that doesn't harm others I'm not gonna do it. I'm just gonna dump it somewhere else" sound acceptable?
Modern society has mostly decided it's not
If the EU doesn't wants these services, then hopefully these services will decide to leave, and the EU citizens can decide if it was all worth it.
I am certainly going to block EU customers on all my future side projects. It really isn't worth the bother for something that I just made for fun, and isn't making many money. Easier to just block this small market wholesale.
I even found a way to block them with a single line of frontend code!
I'd you are completely outside their jurisdiction though, there's no much they can so to you without starting a war or convincing your own government that the GPDR should be enforced.
I do think it's leaving money on the table though. The EU is 500 million people, 2/3rds more than the US and with a bigger aggregate economy. The US also has regulations that have a cost to implement so it's not like you are avoiding the issue just by focusing there
I agree with you in everything though, everyone should be reading and following the law!
It starts along these lines after the usual intro:
"The processing of personal data should be designed to serve mankind The right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right; it must be considered in relation to its function in society and be balanced against other fundamental rights, in accordance with the principle of proportionality"
I'll grant you that lacks a certain something but the language is compatible with another well respected charter of rights that you should be more familiar with.
FFS, do you not notice the similarities!
"A group of undertakings should cover a controlling undertaking and its controlled undertakings, whereby the
controlling undertaking should be the undertaking which can exert a dominant influence over the other
undertakings by virtue, for example, of ownership, financial participation or the rules which govern it or the
power to have personal data protection rules implemented. An undertaking which controls the processing of
personal data in undertakings affiliated to it should be regarded, together with those undertakings, as a group of
Good bye and good riddance. And I don't really care if the door hits you in the ass.
If Instapaper, to name an example, wouldn't do shady shit with user data, there would be no reason at all to forgo the European market.
It's like restaurants putting the toilet in the kitchen. Shut the business down!
The rules are enforced via third-party litigation. So its not the "EU", but some lawyer looking for a nice payday that you have to worry about.
Edit: any replies instead of just downvotes? Yes, it isn't spelled out entirely in the GDPR but it isn't operating in an empty place. The civil law systems of most of EU have certain assumptions in place, like that you will first try to find recourse through proper avenues, and only then try direct litigation. If anything, you might actually try to sue the data protection authority for mishandling your case.
There are no GDPR police looking to shut you down. Calm down.
The thing after "Whereas" is just a preamble stating the intentions, not the actual legal text. In this case, I scrolled down no fewer than 31 pages, thinking to myself "The whereas section can't be that long" until I finally found the real start of the legal text "HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION" on page 32 of 88.
No. GDPR is an overreaching and idiotic law, where standard IP logs are illegal.
() except my blog is on blogger - still trying to deal with that - I will probably go back to using Jekyll.
Member States shall by law reconcile the right to the protection of personal data pursuant to this Regulation with the right to freedom of expression and information, including processing for journalistic purposes and the purposes of academic, artistic or literary expression.
Not sure how that's 'complete freedom to ignore' exactly, nor is that an exhaustive list, just some examples of where they may need to be balanced against other freedoms.
(see below for my response wrt SS85) I prefer to dwell on things like this:
The processing of personal data should be designed to serve mankind. The right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right; it must be considered in relation to its function in society and be balanced against other fundamental rights, in accordance with the principle of proportionality. This Regulation respects all fundamental rights and observes the freedoms and principles recognised in the Charter as enshrined in the Treaties, in particular the respect for private and family life, home and communications, the protection of personal data, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom to conduct a business, the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, and cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
A personal data breach may, if not addressed in an appropriate and timely manner, result in physical, material or non-material damage to natural persons such as loss of control over their personal data or limitation of their rights, discrimination, identity theft or fraud, financial loss, unauthorised reversal of pseudonymisation, damage to reputation, loss of confidentiality of personal data protected by professional secrecy or any other significant economic or social disadvantage to the natural person concerned. Therefore, as soon as the controller becomes aware that a personal data breach has occurred, the controller should notify the personal data breach to the supervisory authority without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it, unless the controller is able to demonstrate, in accordance with the accountability principle, that the personal data breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons. Where such notification cannot be achieved within 72 hours, the reasons for the delay should accompany the notification and information may be provided in phases without undue further delay.
I’m really glad to hear that I’m not being targeted. However, I don’t much care about what the intent is, I care about what the effect is.
And what I see is a law that is vague and enforcement agents are given broad discretion. What this looks like is that each case become “facts and circumstances” case, which is an absolute nightmare from a compliance standpoint.
And the additional paperwork and personnel requirements appear to be non-trivial and will add a significant amount to the minimum necessary capital and labor needed to start a startup .
The inevitable and undisputable result is that at least some startups on the margin which could’ve made it before the law was passed will not make it after the law was passed.
Supporters would argue this is a good thing, but I would argue it is not.
All data I happily ignored so far to increase privacy.
Why do you need to know that? Why don't treat all users with respect?
I totally get your point. But my product already focuses on privacy. Saving any kind of metadata/communication data is more than I do now.
Simply and brutally put: if you are incompetent and/or malevolent in your business practices and for that reason your business faces existencial threat from a piece of regulation that codifies the ideal setting for the industry, your business better dies ASAP.
I want that just like you can't have a random person design cars, architect buildings or teach our kids, similarly a random person cannot code up a commercial/government web site where they were "learning as I went along"; and an enterprise that can't afford to consult a lawyer can not get their hands on people's private data that they'd rather not change throughout their lives. Entrepreneurs to the hell, the amount of irresponsibility some people posting here want conceded to them is mind-boggling. I really hope that the upcoming decade will bring some sanity to this wild-west of an industry where who don't know what they are fucking doing can't just go out and handle stuff that they should not be allowed to even observe with a telescope from miles and miles away.
Of course, Europe couldn't care less - they never had a real startup industry in the first place.
And that is the reason companies like Oracle and other will still make big $$ - why? Because you cannot "break things and sell ads" and do "delete=1" when you are developing RDMBS.
And then there's this: "In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of accounting errors. This crisis came about because of Oracle's "up-front" marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses. This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also settled (out of court) class-action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison stated in 1992 that Oracle had made "an incredible business mistake.""
So Oracle isn't a particularly good example of a well run business with good internal processes (I also wouldn't put them in a list of ethically run companies either)
The important consequence of this is that it puts EU startups on more equal footing than in the past. Most EU countries already had fairly solid privacy regulations, some more, some less, but certainly more than the US (generalization, but that's the trend). If you were a company from a different jurisdiction, you could mostly skirt those regulations (up to a point) because they weren't enforced in most cases. Not so much if the regulation is from your home country.
With GDPR, actual EU startups now play by the same rules as non-EU companies who do business in the EU. If a US startup wants to be international, they'll have to compete with EU startups on a more level playing field now.
I can easily say that if I had to choose between a US service and an EU one, from now on the answer is almost always the EU one.
What gives EU the right to legislate in those jurisdictions? What non-privacy laws will EU enact in non-EU countries?
> If a US startup wants to be international
Well I have no intention of being international now, but I still have to play by EU's rules on the possibility that I might ever want to do business there.
There is healthcare in America
 Doesn't actually need a source
Homeless people in big American cities are everywhere. In the couple of large Canadian cities I lived in, they were present, but not nearly as much. I guess Canada is better at hiding the problem.
I'm mostly surprised though that the Canadian social safety nets don't prevent it from happening more. As a kid my family was.... "not doing well" (understatement), and we were able to bounce back up and avoid becoming homeless reasonably easily by using every program imaginable (it took a lot). In the US, we would have been screwed. Yet those numbers...
 Sydney rents are insanely steep
However if I were earning any kind of money at all, I would have paid out the nose for it, with some small help from the Government. The system here is actually very similar to what the American system would be if it functioned better. Medicare subsidises but doesn't eliminate costs for many low-income people, you pay for private insurance if you have money or else you get a big fat tax which is worse than any insurance fees. The Australian system is definitely nicer if you are absolutely dirt poor (by Western Standards) like me, but otherwise it's pretty much a correctly functioning version of what the American system aims for, ideologically and conceptually it actually doesn't differ much. I'm not sure why ours seems to work so much better.
> The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Point in Time count Wednesday, a report that showed nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January. That figure is up nearly 1 percent from 2016.
> Of that total, 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and instead were staying in vehicles, tents, the streets and other places considered uninhabitable. The unsheltered figure is up by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.
While the UK was counting
> The study, by housing charity Shelter, found that 307,000, or one in every 200, people are now either sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation.
Temporary accommodation includes bed&breakfast, staying with friends, emergency shelters. There are about 5000 people sleeping rough in the UK at the moment in a population of about 60million.
And then look at the countries who have worse homelessness than the US.
Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, Indonesia, China, Haiti, Venezuela, India, Zimbabwe, Honduras, Ukraine.
So what? Communism turned feudal Russia into a world superpower in less than 2 decades. Do the ends justify the means?
While I, in agreement with OC/OP, see it as a threat to the entire industry.
BTW I'm not in the US not in a country where GDPR is effective. But I CRAVE that my country implement the same measures or better. Unfortunately that's unlikely.
Finally, it's a threat to the bad part of the industry. And then there are those who exaggerate the situation while they are not really affected by the regulation. But the hysteria will diminish and hopefully most of the bad actors wil either change their business or just go out of the industry, searching for other places to exploit (which hopefully they will not find).
If all you do about my PII is “set delete = 1” (which one could argue isn’t even the best practice in every scenario), then I probably don’t want you to handle my PII at all.
To your example, you could easily not switch to a CASCADE, but instead set delete=1 and rewrite every sensitive field with a special value. Doesn’t even require a DB migration.
If your attitude to properly handling sensitive information is “it’s too complicated and costly, so we’ll just not handle it and YOLO”, perhaps GDPR is a good reflecting moment for you.
It feels like all these tiny companies, one-man shops, and early-stage startups are going to be collateral damage to a regulation designed to stop facebook and google from knowing a horrific amount about everyone. In fact, it feels like a regulatory moat that will do very little to impede any big tech company while forcing me to do twice as much work for any side project I try to develop.
There's so much smugness about the GDPR being a "good reflecting moment", etc. which makes me think that people who support the GDPR believe that there's no way detractors could disagree with it in good faith or for good reasons.
> It feels like all these tiny companies, one-man shops, and early-stage startups are going to be collateral damage to a regulation designed to stop facebook and google from knowing a horrific amount about everyone. In fact, it feels like a regulatory moat that will do very little to impede any big tech company while forcing me to do twice as much work for any side project I try to develop.
If you don't store PII, you don't have to do any work. Done. If you need to have PII for your webapp to function, you barely have to do any work besides giving the that care people their rights
> There's so much smugness about the GDPR being a "good reflecting moment", etc. which makes me think that people who support the GDPR believe that there's no way detractors could disagree with it in good faith or for good reasons.
I think it's mainly a difference in viewpoint: this is my data for me. Not yours. GDPR makes it easier for me to enforce that. From my perspective I don't care about you violating my rights "in good faith", just like most people don't cares if you trespass on my property and steal something "in good faith".
The problem is not the work that the GDPR requires, the problem is the work I'll have to put into understanding the GDPR.
I think it's mainly a difference in viewpoint: this is my data for me. Not yours.
This is the part that I don't understand. If I own a shop, and you come in and buy something, you have absolutely no right to demand that I forget your face and your purchase. In the real world, it's not your data, it's my memory. If I go home and write in my diary that today hekfu bought lots of broccoli, you don't have the right to come to me in five years and demand that I remove all mention of you from my diary at my own cost.
I don't understand the concept of data ownership, because it does not align with how I understand the real world to work.
This is where there's been a divergence on thought. In the real world you have limited capabilities to collect and store the data that is currently being collected. You're physically limited in how much you can retain and retrieve. In your old timey example I assume the diary to be sitting there in the back of the shop just being a record of my name and what I bought, but that's not how a lot of data is being used or being collected online.
The equivalent would be you making the diary automatically write down a potential unlimited amount of data on me and then using it to sell advertising the moment I enter the shop.
If I went past your store and it automatically retrieved physical details about myself, what I'm wearing, my interests, hobbies, location and you then built a profile and then sold this information to advertisers there absolutely would be regulations regarding this in the real world.
A better example:
As retailers trial such tech they are well aware there is a risk of a privacy backlash.
Clothes store Nordstrom recently cancelled a scheme which tracked customers' movements through its stores using their phones' wi-fi signals after complaints.
"Are we willing to accept our everyday movements being monitored and analysed, not to keep us safe but purely to allow advertisers to target us? I think people will start to say no, our privacy is worth more than a few advertising dollars."
You say shop with a diary to present the most innocent of examples but for every shop with a diary there's billions of stalkers following people everywhere they go to learn as much about them as possible in order to sell them products and influence how they think which they never agreed to.
I asked this question in a comment  here on HN a few weeks ago. There were affirmative responses that yes, the shopkeeper should in fact be held to account for keeping notes on who came into his store.
You might call it poaching, but that only became a crime when society made it one, and that's what the GPDR is doing now with personal data
Data about users has become a valuable asset, and taking it from people now is depriving them if that value, whether or not you personally use it to make a profit.
I hate to break it to you but yes I do: by doing business within the EU market you're accepting that. In fact you're accepting that the very same way that you're accepting that you can't store all your clients' credit card/cvv numbers that are used on your store.
I freely admit that keeping a diary is not the same as keeping customer details, but that's the point here: why are they treated the same?
Even just the first two, seeing and writing down, are legally distinct. Supermarket checkout staff handle hundreds of credit cards a day. How do you think the law would react to such an employee writing all of them down?
It's not discriminatory against old people, because even a completely amnesiac person armed with a notepad can permanently capture vastly more information than all but a photographic memory.
If you want to collect the data, then it must relevant for your business and that warrants you should treat it properly.
Upon request to erasure you should go use reasonable measure to remove it. Wiping your memory is absurd and is never considered reasonable – no need for a lawyer to rule that out.
A server 'processing' (which seems to include using it in any way, not just storing ) your IP address appears to fall under the GDPR, and said server would be in violation of the law unless its processing falls under one of the exemptions.
The main exemption appears to be getting the user's explicit consent, though there's also this super vague exemption: "for your organisation’s legitimate interests, but only after having checked that the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person whose data you’re processing aren’t seriously impacted." 
In general, it seems very hard to avoid the GDPR because what is considered 'personal data' is extremely broad.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.
I used "legitimate interest" as my lawful basis for logging IP addresses and website usage information. From the UK ICO's guidelines :
"It is likely to be most appropriate where you use people’s data in ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing."
There's a three part test:
1. Identify the legitimate interest: ensure the security and stability of my systems.
2. Show that processing is necessary to achieve it: need to know when and how the site is used in order to troubleshoot problems and detect abuse
3. Balanced against individuals' interests: We pseudonymize logins so usage information is not obviously related to specific individuals. There is no sensitive data on the site that can be revealed by usage data. The retention period is short which further limits what can be revealed.
Now, people here on HN might nitpick my logic, but fortunately they're not the regulators. I'm confident that, in the very unlikely event that a regulator even notices my little businesses, that I'll be able to correct any mistakes before fines come into play.
Every business owner in Romania knows two things:
- the IRS equivalent will investigate them periodically, usually every few years
- they will ALWAYS find something to fine the company for
Sure, you will have to correct the something, but that doesn't mean you don't have to pay the fine anyway.
Also, incidentally, the company I was branch manager for has been once investigated by the police for credit card theft (they received a complaint). They couldn't find anything (because we didn't steal any credit cards - we just had a lot of computers because we were programmers, working for the main company in the US) but, in order not to have wasted the raid, they decided to prosecute us for copyright violations (they found a few pirated games).
So, at least in Romania, there is no such thing as "correcting mistakes before fines come into play".
As in your example, they'll use any law to beat people over the head. That should not be an argument against a privacy protection law.
It's actually a human problem. The history of political bodies granted immense discretion to fine and punish is consistent and terrible.
I doubt you'd be able to fix any issues before they get involved.
PS. it's Cambridge Analytica
GDPR has no concept of PII. Personal data is anything relating to a natural person. It's not just an identifier like an address or phone number.
1. I have been using Google analytics for their entertainment value. I assume that's verboten now.
2. I assume the IP addresses in my logs are PII. Should I shut off logging?
1. yeah, probably.
2. There's a comment elsewhere in the thread to this effect, but short-term logging for the usual purposes of managing stability/security of a system almost certainly qualifies as legitimate interest. Don't keep the logs indefinitely, but I figure nginx's defaults with a week's retention period is quite reasonable.
The relevant authorities also have a track record of giving people warnings and time to fix things, so especially for something so trivial, I'd basically just make a good faith effort and not stress about it.
2. You can simply exclude IP addresses from logging.
You don't give a damn; neither do those computer illiterate people who use the same email address and password for everything, and one leak of some shitty inconsequential website may obliterate their entire online presence.
But the thing is that GDPR affects all PII not just sensitive one so your random small useless app/blog/game/forum that has some personally identifiable but harmless and unimportant data stored is now under the same restrictions like your email or FB data.
Unimportant like your email address and your one password you're reusing everywhere? Yes, they should know better but that's neither here nor there.
Are you aware that setting “delete=1” is essentially what file systems do when deleting a file? What file system do you suggest companies to use when they want to comply with GDPR?
That is vague, for sure, but hopefully you have the engineering skills and domain knowledge to make a good call.
Dealing with credit card data? Think a lot about it.
Dealing with movie preferences? Deleting from the database should be adequate.
Dealing with attendants from a local conference? Delete the files when you don’t need them.
(And remember: nobody will ever show up with a fine one day. It will always start with a warning and a chance to improve before any fine is applied – unless there is serious neglect.)
A filesystem will remove the entry pointing to the data on disk, and mark that region as free and ready to be reused - and it will get overwritten.
If you are storing backups for longer than this then perhaps you have to ask yourself why.
For instance, the last company I worked for deliberately didn't keep database backups past 30 days and had that policy for some years prior to GDPR. The idea being that it would be expected by a user that when they hit "delete" on something in the web app it would actually be deleted.
(Additionally there is a whole minefield of crap that could happen if you got subpoenaed and had to due process on months or years worth of backup data, but this wasn't the primary driver of the policy)
This is a pretty good read on the matter:
But on the topic in general, could someone explain to me what the real world consequences are likely to be for a small business not based in the EU, of not complying? If I've never cared where my users were as long as their payments cleared (oh, is that where they get you? the payment processor?), and I'm selling handcrafted bobbins online in Canada without letting people delete their email address, what is likely to happen if someone complains to EU authorities?
Databases such as Cassandra are made so that updating doesn't actually delete the old data until some time later so frequent updates will degrade performance and storage. Other databases that allow for immediate overwriting the data will cause fragmentation and thus performance decline and wasted storage until you compact (basically recreating the entire database) which is not something you want to do all the time, especially on SSDs.
1. GDPR gives you 40 days to respond. You don’t have to run VACUUM everyday.
2. The entire point of my post was acknowledging that there are costs to being GDPR compliant, and why it’s responsible to have that cost.
If it takes a week to garbage collect that's fine, it just can't stick around forever.
Maybe a percentage will be better educated, and actually request data deletion here and there, sometimes but I don't thing anything is going to massively change in general customer behavior. The GDPR just gives the means to those who really want to control their data (which were there before, by the way, just not really enforced. Now that there's a number figure to the possible fine, now is everyone paying attention.)
The pessimistic case sounds like trying to remove things within hours.
It isn't an impossible problem to solve, but the GDPR is a significant time and a money burden that will especially be an issue for small startups that don't have millions in venture funding to spend on this.
If you for instance save all the user data like user preferences under a random userId, and then delete the personal data (such as email address, name etc.) associated with the userId I would expect this to be GDPR complaint without having to do a cascading delete.
It's a law, not a technical constraint. No one gives a fuck about some foreign key relations, they care that personal data cannot be accessed, or somehow reconstructed.
"Anyone can design a lock that they themselves can't pick"
I can see two reasons why this would be a problem:
You have a really shitty un-normalized database design. Granted that you may have to denormalize specific columns for performance reasons. But why that would be the case with, for example names, phone numbers or sexual preferences, totally escapes me.
Or, you're referring to actual cascading deletes, meaning that you need to get rid of child relations, based on deletion of the parent relation. If this poses a problem then I'd argue that you're guilty of a shitty database implementation, arguably with criminally bad definition of your primary / foreign key pairs.
I really don't see a problem here, unless the database schema is implemented in a totally incompetent manner.
But often all you need to do is overwrite the name, address, or similar bits of information, and you can then leave the rest of the data intact and set your delete flag.
> "you could easily not switch to a CASCADE, but instead set delete=1 and mark every sensitive field with a special value"
Emphasize on the part after “and”