The General Data Protection Regulation — better known as GDPR — that gives citizens of the European Union (EU) more rights to control their personal information comes into effect from Friday.
With the new regulations in force, companies working in the EU — or any association or club — must now get express consent to collect personal information, or face hefty fines, the BBC reported.
At a time when several technology companies have come under the scanner for misuse of personal data of users, the new EU legislation, passed in April 2016, is seen as an attempt by the European lawmakers to restrict the powers of the technology companies.
The new regulations give the users of tech companies the right to see what information about them are being collected and also have them deleted if they wish so.
It also makes mandatory for companies to tell all affected users about any data breach, and inform the overseeing authority within 72 hours, the BBC report said.
To ensure that companies in the EU comply with the GDPR rules, EU member states must set up supervisory authorities which will work in a coordinated manner.
Major technology companies have said that they are ready to comply with the GDPR rules.
Microsoft this week announced that it will extend the core rights guaranteed under the new regulations to all of its customers worldwide.
“GDPR is an important step forward for privacy rights in Europe and around the world, and we’ve been enthusiastic supporters of GDPR since it was first proposed in 2012,” Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.
“That’s why… we are announcing that we will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all of our consumer customers worldwide,” Brill added.
“Known as Data Subject Rights, they include the right to know what data we collect about you, to correct that data, to delete it and even to take it somewhere else. Our privacy dashboard gives users the tools they need to take control of their data,” she said.
Facebook said it was committed to transparency and providing people with control over how their data is used.
“Starting this week, we’re asking everyone on Facebook to review important information about privacy and how to control their experience,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer said in a statement.
Twitter also updated its privacy policies ahead of the GDPR coming into effect.