The European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Vera Jourova, in her office in Brussels on May 7, 2018
Facebook scandal allowed „open your eyes“ on the challenges in the protection of personal data, celebrates the European Commissioner of Justice and Consumers, Vera Jourova, in an interview with the AFP days before the entry into force of a long awaited European legislation .
„If I had wanted to make an effective campaign about what is the RGPD [General Data Protection Regulation] and why we do it, I would never have done it as well as Facebook,“ jokes Jourova, who confessed last year to have closed your account in this well-known social network.
The recent scandal of the company Cambridge Analytica, which exploited the data of tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent, shows that „we really live in a kind of jungle, where we even lose ourselves“ by giving private information without control, ensures
The new regulation seeks to put order from May 25 in that jungle. Companies must obtain explicit consent from users to exploit their data, under penalty of harsh penalties of up to 20 million euros (23.9 million dollars) or 4% of their annual global turnover.
The scandal „opened the eyes of many people accusing Europe of being too paranoid, too regulated,“ says the Commissioner, happy to have perceived a change of tone on the other side of the Atlantic, where Europeans are often criticized.
Suddenly, „I read in the American press“ that the United States „finally had something to learn“ from Europe, celebrates the person of Czech origin, convinced that the bloc will set the new world standards from now on.
„In negotiating the possibility of transferring data outside of Europe, we are actually pushing other countries to strengthen their rules,“ he argues, citing the ongoing negotiations with Japan as an example.
– ‚Do not get scared‘ –
The EU has, however, still work ahead internally for the new standards to produce the desired effects.
According to the commissioner, countries must accept that data protection authorities „need greater capabilities“ since they will have a central role in guaranteeing the application of the rules and in accompanying companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, much more concerned.
„Please, do not be scared“, there will be „a frank dialogue with companies in good faith“, Vera Jourova tries to reassure, assuring that the authorities will focus on „the companies that treat personal data in a massive way“ and that turn it into a central element of its economic model.
For small businesses, the RGPD only imposes „very simple adjustments“, basically in the protection of their systems against piracy, explains the Commissioner, who is more impatient with respect to countries that have not yet adapted their legislation despite having two years to do it since 2016.
„We still have eight member states, where we already see that the legislation adopted or in force will not be in place,“ laments Jourova, concerned about the „period of uncertainty“ that will open. „I think it’s about negligence, not resistance,“ he estimates.