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2017, the United Nations Data Forum was held in Cape Town, South Africa, with the goal to reach a broad consensus on how to harness data for sustainable development. Also, this "The Economist" newspaper title: "The most valuable resource in the world is no longer oil, but the data" was the subject of several comments towards new regulatory measures for data management.
Moreover, Privacy Shield, European Union’s accusations to Internet Giants for violating competition rules, General Data Protection Regulation in Europe have made most of the developments on personal data in 2017.

 

PRIVACY SHIELD: MISTRUST ATMOSPHERE BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND EUROPE

On July 12, 2016, the European Union and the United States adopted the "Privacy Shield”. This agreement replaces the "Safe Harbor" and becomes the new legal framework for the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States.
However, despite progress made, a mistrust atmosphere prevails between the United States and Europe on data transfer.

In fact, in January 2017, an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump states that data protection is not granted to non-US citizens. In Europe, the European Parliament adopts a resolution expressing its concern over the Europe-United States agreement on the Privacy Shield. Moreover, EU regulators threatens to legally challenge the EU-US Pact on the cross-border transfer of personal data if their concerns about US operations and US surveillance practices are not resolved in the autumn of 2018.

 

EUROPE TO FINE NET GIANTS FOR COMPETITION RULES VIOLATION

 

Despite Privacy Shield, 2017 was also a very turbulent year between Europe and Net Giants. On WhatsApp data sharing with parent company Facebook, the European Union regulators issue a second warning to disagree sharing data principles between the two companies. Moreover, European Union authorities put pressure on Facebook, Twitter and Google to modify their user terms in order to align them with European Union law.
For infringement of antitrust rules, the European Commission imposes a fine of 2.42 billion euros on Google. In addition, TalkTalk receives another fine for poor customer data support, 10 months after being fined £ 400,000.

 

IN EUROPE, THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION ON RIGHT TRACK DESPITE OF BREXIT AND THE LACK OF COMPANIES PREPARATION

 

The European Parliament adopted in 2016 new rules relating to the protection of personal data. This General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is aimed to strengthen European citizens’ rights and control over their personal data. It also targets Net Giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, etc., which collect and hold personal data from millions of subscribers. It will come into effect on May 25, 2018 and will apply to each company (VSE, SME, large groups) that collects data on its customers.

In the implementation phase, a free guide to help charities understand the General Guide to Data Protection and comply with the law was published in Europe in 2017.
In the UK, despite Brexit, the draft data protection law is published confirming that UK laws would largely reflect the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Moreover, according to several surveys, European companies are not well prepared for the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to Gartner, by the end of 2018 more than 50 per cent of the companies involved in the GDPR would not fully comply with its requirements. On the other hand, Microsoft, Amazon and Google Web Services promise that they will be ready for the GDPR when it comes into effect.

 

Mamadou LO

UN IGF MAG Member

ICANN fellow coach

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