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April 2018, Vol. 6, No. 2

GDPR requirements put focus on data ethics, governance

Big data's surge has carried forward a shiny, class of digitally born companies, among them Amazon, Facebook and Google. The breed of enterprise is best known for the way it harvests and packages data collected as part of user web activities. This tech-infused business model is now coming under scrutiny, as the compliance deadline for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fast approaches. On May 25, the EU will start to enforce GDPR requirements for companies collecting or processing the data of people living in its 28 member countries. The regulation fully describes how companies can use that data, and they must be prepared to "forget" that data at the request of users. GDPR requirements are partly driven by high-profile data breaches that have seen end users' data sucked up by prowling hackers. But there's more to it than that; it's a very European reaction to a Wild West style of business in which data monetization has become king. Elements of that style spread much further than Silicon Valley, ...

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