GDPR Is Now In Effect – Let The Litigation Begin!

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in the European Union on May 25, 2018. The first lawsuits were filed against Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp minutes after the law went into effect. The lawsuits claim the take-it-or-leave-it Terms and Conditions from these companies do not meet the requirement of the new regulation.

A second lawsuit was filed by a French digital rights group against Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn as well as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This lawsuit argues that the companies “forced consent” Terms and Conditions undermine the concept of consent in the GDPR regulation. This is similar to the premise of the first lawsuit.

The courts will hear arguments from both sides and decide how to apply the new regulation. The court decision could either dilute the impact of GDPR on these companies or deliver a major blow to their underlying business model. Either way it will be interesting to watch.

A ruling already handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest court, found that Facebook Fan Page administrators (any business with a Fan Page) are jointly responsible for data privacy along with Facebook. The impact of this ruling is far-reaching and can impact every small business that uses a Fan Page to connect with European customers. Facebook now faces having to re-write their contracts with marketing customers.

Even though GDPR is in effect now, we still do not know specifically how to comply with all of the articles. All the GDPR compliance work companies have done so far provides them with a defensible position if they find themselves in front of a Data Protection Authority in the EU. Much is still to be learned about the GDPR work that lies ahead based on rulings and judgements as the EU learns how to enforce the regulation.

Jack Drahus photoAbout the Author
Jack Drahus is the Managing Partner of Ace 7 Advisors. Jack works with companies to build sustainable revenue streams and grow. Jack’s background includes executive level positions in technology and professional services companies. He has P&L experience in private, public, a venture-funded companies.