You might have noticed that when you have visited some websites there have been messages about new legal documents like Privacy Statements and Terms and Conditions or had emails asking you if you still want to receive email updates. This is because things in the online world are changing thanks to a new piece of legislation called GDPR.
Why is this happening?
General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR as it’s more commonly referred to, is a new law that came into place on May 25th 2018. It covers all of the members of the European Union. It’s about protecting people’s data and giving people more control over what they share online.
It makes sure that companies that have any information about you keep it safe, and make it easy for you to access any information they have about you.
For example, you can now download all the data that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has about you. This is worthwhile doing - it shows you just how much information they collect on you! And it might make you a bit more cautious about what you post online...
So why do I need to agree?
As part of GDPR, you have to give explicit consent to a company agreeing about what data they can get from you.
If these companies don’t ask your permission, or let you know that their terms and conditions are changing (and let you see these new policies) then they will be breaking the new law.
Do I have to agree?
You don't, but a lot of companies might then suggest either you change your privacy settings or stop using their service altogether.
If you've received an email asking you to resubscribe to their mailing list and you don't reply, you will no longer get emails from them. So no more emails from ASOS if you don't agree to keep hearing from them!
What happens if companies break this law?
Companies have to make sure they keep your data safe, and if any information is stolen by hackers, the fines they face for dealing with it correctly are much bigger than before. Before they could be fined up to £500,000. Now, it's £17.5 million or 4% of their global turnover - whatever amount is higher. Hopefully this should motivate businesses that store any of your information to make sure it's kept as safe as possible.