The law on data protection is changing. Are you ready?

The law on data protection is changing. Are you ready?

What were you doing eighteen years ago? On 24 October 1995?

I had hair for a start—not that I'm bitter. Much.

In other matters:

  • Mark Zuckerberg was just 11 years old and Facebook—or 'The Facebook' as it was known at its inception—was still well under a decade away
  • Amazon had just sold its first book: alas, not a biography of Peter Andre, but the snappily entitled ‘Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought’
  • Twitter was something that only birds did. Well, sort of…

Amazingly, however, in this year the average cost of RAM per gigabyte was a whopping $30,000.

Now it is $5.50.

The world is now a very different place.

So what exactly happened on that day in October 1995? Well, the European Council and EU Parliament had a bit of a legislative shindig and adopted the Data Protective Directive; the Directive being designed, in the main, to regulate the processing of personal data in the EU.

The problem is that the Directive is arguably no longer fit for purpose. Nowadays, we are drowning in data.

All those years ago, when my computer was petrol-driven and needed to be started with a sharp pull of a cord—similar to those found on chain saws—I'm sure that I could hear data clicking in and out when my computer was plugged into to the Internet. Perhaps it was that crazy 'zzzzz wirrrr zzzzz fdang fdang' sound that quietly announced itself whenever I wanted to sign on?

Now, according to Intel, 639,800 GB of data is transferred across the Internet every minute. That's a fair few bytes.

However, persistent legal problems remain with the regulation of data. For example, there is the need to clarify:

  • who is in control of the data
  • how to define personal data
  • how to regulate international transfers of data when information is globally accessible instantaneously via the

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