UAE residents to enjoy greater internet privacy

The benefit is a by-product of the General Data Privacy Regulation being implemented in the European Union

London: Anyone living in the UAE or across the Middle East will inadvertently gain greater internet privacy come May 25, thanks to the European Union (EU).

In four weeks’ time, the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect across the 28 EU nations.

But because the terms of GDPR are so strict – and the fines it imposes on any company that fails to protect the online data of anyone living the EU are so heavy – most companies that keep online records, are failing into line.

GDPR also applies to any company anywhere outside the EU that deals with people inside the bloc – hence the added privacy for most online users. If companies fail to comply, they face fines of up to €20 million (Dh89.6 million) or 4 per cent of their gross profit.

“While legislation protecting privacy and personal data has existed in Europe for some years now, the new GDPR is certainly significant as it introduces strict data privacy rules to be applied in the recent era of big data, social media and the internet of things,” Dr Maria Tzanou, a lecturer in law, online data and privacy at Keele University in the United Kingdom, told Gulf News. 

The GDPR allows people to ask for any data stored on them and even allows them to be erased and includes a ‘right to be forgotten’.

It covers names, addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, email address, bank details, past transactions, photographs, video recordings, posts on social network sites, biometric information of any kind, medical records, and financial or insurance histories and more.

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