New EU Data Laws – Free Lunch over for Google and Facebook et al

Posted on January 25, 2012


What you need to know –

The European Commission has put forward suggestions for changes to EU data laws, championing the privacy of European citizens. 

Other articles are less objective as the depressionists come out in force crying down the new plans by the EU with scare tactics that they will cost business Billions. Running like a pack with showboating lawyers getting their 15 seconds of fame in the media columns frightening all and sundry with spurious legal scenarios.

My Blog back in November 2010, ‘Digital Enslavement’, touched on the impact on individuals that this regulation is going to redress. Better late than never it should stimulate a much needed maturing of the pernicious business models that have taken advantage of a ‘Wild West’ Internet frontier and innocence of individual participants.

As with any new frontier, the days of free for all are coming to an end I commend the EU for taking a first tentative step and a brave lead in making the beneficiaries of individual’s data truly accountable.

This legislation is an Internet and community maturity test as well as a much needed correction in the power balance of who controls individual’s data. If successful it will herald a new way of working, where individuals have the potential of full control and anonymity when disclosing their data and Corporatocracy will have to change their attitudes to cherish the granting of access to individuals data rather than the converse. My Blog Last October ‘A New age of data ownership’ takes one view on how this can be readily implemented using technology that has been in place for years, this is not rocket science and well within the capabilities of operators, individuals and legislators to realise today.

My word to our legislators is HOLD FIRM, you are on the right road. it is going to be a long road to member state ratification, possibly not till 2014 or 2015, during which you will need to hold fast to your principles to avoid having the core tenants of this legislation eroded by pressure from commercial interests.

The reality is the regulation blows away Billions of Pounds worth of cost and simplifies the regulatory landscape, albeit putting the burden on the Corporates who have been building their business models on the premise of free data at almost zero cost. Now they need to dip into their cash piles that they squander so readily, and become accountable and responsible at last.

The immediate reaction we are seeing is more than the conventional resistance to change. We must maintain a candid guard in the face of the messaging pouring out from Big Corp press machines who are having a field day protecting their sponsors, Google and Facebook leading the pack. Why? Simple they wish to continue the data feeding frenzy that has fed their balance sheets and business models without check for too long.

With Facebook due to IPO shortly this could not come at a worst time. For the populous who have in blind trust allowed their data to be consumed and mined by such entities with little regard for the owners privacy or reward, it has come possibly just too late for yet another entity to cash in on individuals data.

We have a long way to go yet, but I for one am optimistic there is a positive change in the air.