Data Protection and the EU

There has been a lot of talk lately about the new EU regulations on data protection.  It isn’t exactly clear to the end user what this means.  However, it appears to be a big deal in the EU government to strictly regulate the use of the private data of a user. 

But what is private data??  Yeah, here is where the fun comes in.  Everything.

This doesn’t seem like a big thing, but believe me, it is.  This means that the small bloggers and business owners will be affected the most.  We don’t have the means to pay the fines if an “accident” happens to be found.  Unfortunately, we aren’t exactly sure what these accidents are! 

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. Its primary aim is to give control back to the EU residents over their personal data.

Why the urgency? Although the GDPR was introduced two years ago, it becomes  enforceable starting May 25, 2018.

That link is a *long* read, so if you are interested in what I am facing, it’s worth it.

Now, I see what you are thinking…  This sounds like a fantastic thing, doesn’t it?  Yeah, if it were only that simple.  This actually means EVERYthing about a person is considered personal data.  Email, name, address, and even IP belong to a user.  As a blogger and an online store owner, I MUST keep and store personal data.  Otherwise, there is nothing stopping a user from deleting themselves from my database and their entire record of purchases and comments are *poof*, gone.  I no longer have a stored record of the user, the purchases, or the IP address.  Everything of that person would be gone.

Oh, I guess I should clarify that, too, huh?   A “Privacy Policy” is (obviously) necessary, but that isn’t all.  I would be required, by law, to give all control of a person’s data to the person.  They would need the ability to view, alter, and even delete that data.

Nothing bad could EVER come of this, I am sure!  Right?  <.< 

Oh, and this policy wouldn’t only need to be about how *I* use the data.  Oh no…  I also have to make sure you know how WordPress and all of the plugins use the data.  Guess what kind of plugins get to come along with my site?  Yeah, just look below.  You see that little Facebook comment box?  Yeah, that’s a plugin…  I don’t even want to get into listing what kind of policy they have.  If they breach, then I am in breach.  Lovely, isn’t it?

Now.  You can’t exactly quote me on anything I have listed here as 100% legal fact.  I am not a lawyer.  *har har*  However, this is among the few concerns being brought up by bloggers and small business owners.  This little event could prove to be devastating for us.

So, that means:  at any moment beyond May 25th, my blog could be gone.  I could be among those who missed a little something that makes me 100% compliant. 

Don’t get me wrong here!  I do NOT use anyone’s data other than to keep record of purchases made through my shop.  I also do not send out newsletters or any other items that you have not strictly agreed to.  However, any plugins or third-party items I have associated with my website could also be collecting IP addresses or the such.  Now, it isn’t with my explicit knowledge that this occurs.  The only plugin that I am aware uses data is the Facebook comments section.  That obviously uses your facebook data to post comments here on my blog items.

I try, with all I am, to protect your personal data from any breaches.  I would never sell any data that I collect to any firm/individual/mailing list, what-so-ever.  However, my word is not enough for compliance.

If, by chance, one day after the 25th, my blog and store are gone, I will always be reachable through my other social media accounts.  Facebook, DeviantArt, Artstation, Google

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