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An American Alternative to Europe’s Privacy Law

Imagine that you’ve been struggling with a serious and fairly embarrassing personal problem. Putting aside a longstanding reluctance to address it, you finally consult a therapist. The therapist is friendly and welcoming and promises to protect your privacy. Gaining a sense of trust, you bare your soul, describing the issue you are struggling with in all of its painful detail.

Only later do you realize, to your horror, that your confessions were being recorded and retained by the therapist. It turns out that your therapist, to supplement his income, has gotten into the advertising business: He takes data gleaned from his patients and offers it to advertisers (or any other interested party) for a fee.…  Seguir leyendo »

Data Subjects of the World, Unite

The European Union’s new digital privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, doesn’t just protect European residents or citizens. The law covers “data subjects.”

You are a data subject. If you got an email in the last few days from an online shopping website advising you of new privacy policies that are compliant with the rule, you are likely a data subject of Europe, even if you’ve never been to Europe and don’t even have a passport.

A data subject is defined as “a natural person” inside or outside the European Union whose personal data is used by “a controller or processor”; in a curious inversion, it is individuals who are the subjects of data, not the data that is secondary to the individual.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las oficinas de Facebook en Londres. La red social podría enfrentar multas de hasta 1000 millones de dólares si no cumple con las nuevas regulaciones europeas. Credit Andrew Testa para The New York Times

En las últimas semanas seguramente te llegó un diluvio de correos electrónicos y alertas de empresas en los que se te informa sobre los cambios en sus políticas de privacidad.

No los ignores.

Sí, tienen mucha jerga legal. Sin embargo, resiste la tentación de borrar esos correos de inmediato o de cerrar las alertas de inmediato. Podrían contener información importante sobre el manejo de tu privacidad digital en una época en la que se volvió evidente que nuestros datos en línea no están seguros.

Todos esos mensajes sobre la privacidad aparecen ahora porque una ley llamada Reglamento General de Protección de Datos (GDPR, por su sigla en inglés) entró en vigor el 25 de mayo en toda la Unión Europea.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europe’s Data Protection Law Is a Big, Confusing Mess

There is a growing realization that our data is under attack. From breaches at Equifax to Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of the profile information of more than 87 million Facebook users, it seems as if none of our personal data is safe. And more and more about us is being captured, stored and processed by smart devices like thermostats, baby monitors, WiFi-connected streetlights and traffic sensors.

In the United States, people who are concerned are looking to Europe. They see Europe’s “right to be forgotten,” by which citizens can force companies to erase some of their personal data, as a step toward regaining ownership of their online selves.…  Seguir leyendo »