What Are Your GDPR Rights, and What Are the Penalties ?

What You (the Consumer) Can Do

A good first step would be to familiarize yourself with the European Commission’s list of rights provided under GDPR if you live in Europe. You’ll find step-by-step guides for things like asking a company what kind of data it’s collected about you, requesting that it stop processing that data, or delete that data altogether. It also shows you how to file a complaint if your personal data is leaked, and what to do about personal data collected about children.

Companies have had years to prepare for GDPR to go into effect, but most are still lagging on introducing the tools for users to exercise these new rights. “It’s not as though the day after the GDPR comes into effect, all of our privacy problems are going to magically go away.”

One thing you can do right away: Start asking companies for the personal data they’ve collected about you. You’ll be able to demand much more than if you live in the United States if you live in Europe. To see that in practice, the New York Times ran a great experiment to show the differences in data transparency between the two continents.

In Europe, though, GDPR represents one of the most robust data privacy laws in the world. It also gives people the right to ask companies how their personal data is collected and stored, how it’s being used, and request that personal data be deleted. Other companies, like Facebook, are changing their privacy settings and tools for all users globally– but not giving all users the same rights to their data as EU users.

You’ll find step-by-step guides for things like asking a company what kind of data it’s collected about you, requesting that it stop processing that data, or delete that data altogether. It also shows you how to file a complaint if your personal data is leaked, and what to do about personal data collected about children.