ONCE UPON A GDPR …

I am wondering how many of you who have just read the title of my latest blog know what it means?

As I have mentioned before I have downloaded an App onto my phone called ‘Calm’. It is a collection of meditations, short sleep time stories, music etc to either begin your day with the ‘daily meditation’ or end it with a ‘bedtime story.’ This week I listed to one narrated by Peter Jefferson.

Now he is quite well known as a BBC presenter who was most famous for his daily shipping forecasts. He also read the news; announced programmes and an actor and all of this he did for 45 years.

So what is GDPR all about?

Well I will tell you and I hope that you can keep awake until you reach the end of this short blog.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This is one of the latest important regulations devised by the EU. This new legislation supersedes the Data Protection Directive from 1995. The former of course being introduced when more and more people started to use the Internet. But so much has changed since then. Hence the new legislation.

The new GDPR is basically to protect EU citizens on the following: data privacy, notifications, rights and protection. The document is 57.500 words long. Over 43 times longer than the American Declaration of Independence and 114 times longer than the Gettysburg Address. Even so, and let’s be fair, far shorter than the famous classic novel War & Peace by Tolstoy.

Bored already?

So Peter Jefferson is narrating a bedtime story and says he will start by reading just a short piece from the 107 page Introduction. I had to smile when he said: ‘I hope you can stay awake!’

Well to be honest I have to ask myself who writes such drivel? It is so incredibly repetitive that after about 2 minutes you are completely lost. Is this why parliament members of not only the European Union but also the European Council are paid so much? For writing stuff like this? Obviously they have never heard of words like ‘concise’ or ‘keeping to the point’.

Or summarizing! Even though it is a serious subject, I mean come on…

Even though this narrated story was only 33 minutes long in total, I am sorry to have to admit that I fell asleep before it ended. And not really surprising.

Of course I feel that as the worldwide web grows and grows it is a good thing that data is protected and certainly when it comes to things like personal information. How many of us fill in all sorts of forms online, when perhaps making a purchase, giving our name, address, phone number, and date of birth and more likely than not a credit card number too. Then we need protection, particularly as the news often speaks of leaks and that hackers have stolen data.

Really it is quite scary, also when you think about for instance the ‘dark web’ too. I know nothing about this apart from the fact that it came up in a TV-series I regularly watch.

So the EU made a new legislation and I hope that there is someone out there who can understand it. Yes, laws have to be detailed but this one really is unbelievable. I have listened to a bit of it again this morning before starting to write this blog and after about 5 minutes I still ask myself: ‘what an earth are they talking about’. I just wonder how long it took to write the thing in the first place?

Even though the world online is really amazing, you can find out anything you want, surfing on Internet. Whether we like it or not, it is a major thing in our lives these days. And we all use it regularly.

Many will agree then that it is a good thing to have protection. But to what lengths because a document like this is so intense and long, it is impossible to get a gist of what it is all about. Yes, our data should be protected of course, no argument about that and recently the majority of online sites have been obliged to ask your permission to not only share, but protect your data too.

It is quite mind boggling that WiFi is literally everywhere, so no matter where you are, at work, at home, in a bus, train, or even just walking down the street, with a mobile device, then your data is open to virtually everyone. You may think you are protected, but in fact you are not really. There are several apps and software for this purpose but my question is, how safe is safe?

I would not advice anyone to try and phathom out the real meaning behind these 57.500 word-long document, apart from its name GDPR.

But for all of you insomniacs out there, you can download the CALM app from the Apple or Android Store; you can have a free 7-day trial (but remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue in time) and have probably the best night’s sleep ever. You can listen to the narrated story about GDPR, guaranteed to send you off to the land of nod in minutes!

Sleep well.

Thanks to CALM and Peter Jefferson for the inspiration. Images from Google.

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

One thought on “ONCE UPON A GDPR …”

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