As leaders in the temporary lawyer space, we know the one thing that always remains constant: change. And the increased use of technology has certainly resulted in change, providing companies and consumers with a dangerously powerful new tool that is often mishandled.
Facebook made headlines a few months ago when reports revealed that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had been using a third-party app to harvest data from more than 50 million Facebook users, without their explicit consent. Crises like Facebook’s reinforce the need for new privacy guidelines, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR seeks to prevent such data mishandling through clearly defined rules aimed at better protecting and empowering consumers.
Officially put into effect last month, the GDPR outlines several new requirements for businesses, including the hiring of a Data Protection Officer (DPO), 72-hour breach notifications, and awarding users the right to be informed and the right to request that their data be erased.
The GDPR applies to members of the European Union, but it also applies to any countries that conduct web business there. And even though the compliance deadline for GDPR was May 25, a whopping 85 percent of firms in Europe and the U.S. were not completely ready in time, according to Corporate Counsel. These results show that businesses will continue to bear the weight of GDPR’s implications, as they seek to increase compliance levels and user protection, and reduce opportunities for breaches.
Lawyers are well-positioned to counsel companies on such compliance. As the Facebook case has shown, individuals are much more willing to use a platform, and be loyal to that platform, if it is acting transparently and in the best interest of consumers. Attorneys can help businesses secure stronger loyalty through reviewing new and old contracts, recommending stricter reporting requirements and data breach procedures, and identifying whether a DPO is necessary.
In a recent development, California Governor Jerry Brown signed his state’s own version of GDPR, titled the Consumer Privacy Act. The law will officially go into effect in 2020, and contains compliance requirements similar to those outlined in the EU’s GDPR. It remains to be seen whether tech companies will alter their practices in California only, or whether the new practices will be applied throughout the U.S. Regardless, lawyers will serve an important role in ensuring compliance, as laws like these continue to be enacted both here and abroad.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiting attorneys can match you with highly-qualified lawyers who specialize in privacy, security and data protection. If you’re in need of temporary legal staffing, please visit us at www.assignedcounsel.com/contact-our-legal-recruitment-agency/.
So, how do you think GDPR and its legal implications will shape the way companies conduct business? Let us know in the comments below.