As the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) turns five, so does the Europe-wide wait for its real-life enforcement. In a new report, Five years under the GDPR: An implementation progress report, Access Now explores how the GDPR could finally become a success if its enforcement process is improved.
The GDPR is a cornerstone legislation to ensure the protection of fundamental rights online. Yet, after five years of application, millions of people are still waiting for these rights to materialise due to slow and inconsistent enforcement. As a result, Big Tech business models remain centred around excessive data collection and exploitation.
As the success of the GDPR hangs in the balance, the European Commission is finally stepping in to address some of the enforcement challenges. In June, the European Commission is expected to propose a new regulation that will clarify enforcement procedures and help coordination between Data Protection Authorities.
Access Now’s new report reflects back on the hurdles and delays faced by people across the European Union as they seek remedy for data protection violations. Access Now has been documenting these challenges in yearly reports over the past five years, calling for stronger enforcement so that companies misusing data face real consequences.
Access Now’s report puts forward recommendations to help ensure that the new measures will improve the experience of people as they file data protection complaints and protect their rights, including a detailed process and timeline that Data Protection Authorities should follow for the resolution of cross-borders complaints. Most GDPR complaints should be resolved within a maximum of 10 months.
The GDPR is already a legislative success: now it needs to become an enforcement success story.