You better opt-out, you better comply – GDPR is coming to town

Like Christmas for data protection geeks. Can it be coincidence that it falls on the 25th? We don’t think so. We even left an encrypted USB stick out last night with a glass of sherry to see if the Information Commissioner would come down the chimney.

Back in the real world, most folks are rather more phlegmatic about it, to put it mildly. The torrent of “please subscribe” and “please don’t go” emails over the last couple of weeks has led to so much apathy and opt-in fatigue that people are widely ignoring everything.

While that's got businesses panicking, it does at least emphasise the point that GDPR is all about us lowly data subjects wresting back control of our personal information from rapacious data controllers. No longer will our data be their asset. If they want it, they can seek our consent first (or at least try reading the rest of Article 6 to learn what the alternatives are).

It’s great that people are now more aware of data protection and their privacy rights. There’s been more discussion of the issues in the six-month build-up to GDPR than over two whole decades of the Data Protection Act. And with near perfect timing, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have had their can of worms opened at just the right moment to hammer home how important data and privacy are in a technological age.

Data protection is now so cool, there are memes about it and it’s out-trending Beyoncé. There are jokes about it (Q: Do you know a good data protection lawyer? A: Yes. Q: Can you give me their details? A: No.) There are apps about it - one app consists of the entire GDPR read in the soporific tones of the Shipping Forecast as a sleep-aid. We at BrandSoup tried it but we were awake all night checking cross-references and waiting in wide-eyed anticipation for the typo in Article 28(3).

Anyway, enough of that. Just like Christmas morning, after all the preparation and build-up, the day has dawned and we can’t wait to see what treats lie in store for us – we’ve got a shiny new Data Protection Act 2018 to play with for starters! And remember: he’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, Santa Claus is now fully compliant with the “Accuracy” principle as set out in Article 5(1)(d).


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