Rise in GDPR Criticisms Experienced by EU-based Watchdogs

July 5, 2018


After the launch of the European Unions’ General Data Protection Regulation on May 25 this year a rise in the number of grievances to watchdogs has been felt throughout Europe, exposing the public consciousness and interest in the new law.

In a report printed on Politico Europe, the French data safety watchdog CNIL disclosed a 50% increase in the number of grievances registered compared with the same period in 2017. On top of this, another 29 cases are presently under evaluation at the EU level. ICO, the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office, disclosed that it has faced an increase in grievances from organizations, as well as a higher number of data safety grievances since the GDPR rule became enforceable last May.

The new European Union law has also resulted in improved transparency from companies that have been affected by a data break, with notices rising throughout the same time period. GDPR increased the maximum applicable penalties for a data break to €20m or 4% of a firm’s international business, whichever figure is higher. Firms are more likely to face huge financial penalties if they prolong reporting GDPR breaks.

More than 100 grievances have also been registered in Austria in the last month, together with 59 GDPR breach notices. This is the same number that would usually have been received over an eight-month period before GDPR was launched. “Considering the powerful position these firms have and the resulting pressure the data subject is put under, to agree to unrelated processing/advertising aims, we think that any such approval obtained must be thought illegal,” a Noyb spokesperson stated. Noyb is a non-profit business based in Vienna, Austria. It was created in 2017 by Austrian attorney and secrecy activist Max Schrems. The objective of the group is to open strategic law court cases and media initiatives in favor of the General Data Protection Regulation,

In the United Kingdom, an ICO representative disclosed that: “It’s early days and we will collect, analyze and publish certified figures in due course. But usually, as expected, we have seen a growth in private data break reports from organizations. Grievances linking to data safety problems are also up and, as more people become conscious of their individual privileges, we are supposing the number of grievances to the ICO to rise also.”