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April 2018, Vol. 6, No. 2

U.S. data protection laws fall short in the age of big data

The European Union's data protection laws to safeguard consumers' personal data and limit what companies can do with the data they collect is set to crack down on the Wild West era of data collection, use and abuse. In other words, the party's over; data protection officers are on their way. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, enforceable beginning May 25, requires that personal data be collected with structure and purpose. This set of data protection laws limits how much personally identifiable information companies have the right to collect from their European customers, how they can use it and how long they can retain the data. Companies with an EU presence not in compliance with the data protection laws risk penalties of up to 4% of their annual total revenue. Why Europe takes data privacy more seriously At its core, GDPR prioritizes EU citizens' rights to privacy above corporate interests in the collected data. For that reason, I'm skeptical that broad data protection laws will come to pass in the U.S., ...

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