MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 12

in Europe
under GDPR
BY CHRISTOPHER A. BESS

With the personal information
of 87 million users harvested, the
Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data
breach brought issues of digital privacy
and protection to the forefront of
American consciousness in the first half
of 2018. In Europe, such a data mining
operation would be unthinkable.
Barely a month after Mark Zuckerberg
stoically dissimulated before a posturing
U.S. Congress, the European Union
began enforcement at the end of May
of its new sweeping plan to protect the
privacy of all citizens in member states
(Sorry, England! #Brexit). The General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
creates limits on the data that companies
operating in Europe can collect and
how that data can be used. With the
tremendous economic and political
motivations to collect and utilize the
wealth of consumer data exposed by the
modern economy, the EU is attempting
to provide a check and balance upon the
equally tremendous potential for abuse,
both economic and political.
While it is too soon to gauge its
overall efficacy, GDPR has already made
waves. With the threat of staggering
fines, some international companies
shut down their online presence in
Europe when the law went live. As the
Wall Street Journal put it, "The EU's
General Data Protection Regulation
authorizes steep fines for companies
12 | P E R S P E C T I V E | www.mpincc.org

that don't comply with the new rules,
aimed at giving Europe-based users
more control over the data companies
hold on them. As of Friday, firms that
violate the EU's privacy rules risk fines
as high as 4 percent of their global
revenue." As a result, many e-commerce
sites went dark in Europe when GDPR
went live in May.
As the GDPR went into effect, the
competing interests were apparent
between companies with an online
presence in Europe hoping to continue
their operations in compliance with
the law and privacy advocates eager
to expand consumer protections under
the new regulations. According to NPR,
"Companies are trying to understand
what level of protection different data
needs, whether this could force them to
change the way they do business and
innovate, and how to manage the EU's
28 national data regulators, who enforce
the law."
Two of the largest companies to
take early heat under the GDPR were
Facebook and Google. Under provisions
that allow consumer advocacy groups to
file collective actions against companies
"... a litigation vehicle started by activist
Max Schrems alleged that the companies
[Facebook and Google] demand 'forced
consent' from users by applying new
take-it-or-leave-it privacy policies,"
as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Should the collective action prevail,
the ramifications for the American
companies would likely be limited in
scope. Like most EU regulations, GDPR
will be enforced by the 28-member states
within their jurisdictions. This will lead
to a variety of interpretations of the same
regulatory standards from one EU nation
to another.
The value of the data gleaned through
e-commerce and social media cannot be
underestimated in the current economy,
from the political maneuvering wrought
by Cambridge Analytica to the targeted
advertising that magically appears after
any Google search or online purchase.
"The ability to analyze everything
from consumer purchases to medical
records holds enormous potential,
with suggestions that it will make us
healthier, improve traffic flows and
other good things for society. At the
same time, it provides business with
huge new opportunities for profit, with
some experts putting the value of the
global data economy at $3 trillion," NPR
reported. It is this balance of benefits
and burdens in the face of tremendous
profit potential that the EU will test
with enforcement of the GDPR. ●
MPINCC member Christopher A. Bess
is Director of Rental Sales at Island
Creative Management LLC. He can be
reached at cbess@islandcreative.com.

©ISTOCK.COM/MATEJMO

Data Privacy


http://www.ISTOCK.COM/MATEJMO http://www.mpincc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - Summer 2018

President’s Message
Editor’s Note
Innovation Corner
Make Your Event the Next Big Thing
MPINCC 2018 Annual Gala & Silent Auction
Data Privacy in Europe under GDPR
IMEX America – A Quick Trip to a ‘Cascade of Cool’
WEC18: 5-4-3-2-1 … Go!
Meetings Minute
Destination: What’s New in LA and San Diego
Member Spotlight
MPINCC New Members
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Intro
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - cover1
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - cover2
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 3
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Editor’s Note
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Innovation Corner
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Make Your Event the Next Big Thing
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 7
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - MPINCC 2018 Annual Gala & Silent Auction
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 9
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 10
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - 11
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Data Privacy in Europe under GDPR
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - IMEX America – A Quick Trip to a ‘Cascade of Cool’
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - WEC18: 5-4-3-2-1 … Go!
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Meetings Minute
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Destination: What’s New in LA and San Diego
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Member Spotlight
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - cover3
MPI Perspective - Summer 2018 - cover4
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