Since Access Now started in 2009, we have worked to defend and extend the data protection and privacy rights of users around the world.
Today, we are excited and celebrating. As you may know, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now entered into force. This regulation provides people in the European Union with greater control over their personal data, and it impacts how companies and organisations that hold that personal data can operate. Access Now is a strong supporter of this legislation. In fact, we worked with lawmakers in Europe to strengthen users’ protections throughout the introduction, negotiations, and adoption of the law. Over the past three years, we have also been working gradually to make any necessary changes to our website, email alerts, and more, in line with the GDPR.
Your rights explained
Here’s a look at some of these hard-won rights, as reflected in our practices:
- Right to information: your right to receive information about the data Access Now collects about you with your explicit and informed consent and the purpose for which this data will be used;
- Right to access: your right to access the information that Access Now holds about you;
- Right to rectification: your right to amend and modify the information, such as email address or contact information, that we store;
- Right to withdraw consent: your right to prevent our organization from further processing your information – this includes no longer receiving alerts or notifications – among other things; and
- Right to erasure: your right to request that your information be deleted from our servers.
It’s been a long journey in the effort to secure these vital and necessary protections. In our work on data protection and privacy, we have published opinions on law, raised awareness, and joined campaigns. We have worked directly with lawmakers who want to protect human rights in the digital age. We are deeply committed to data protection and have voluntarily extended the GDPR’s high standards to our entire community, no matter where you live — whether in Europe or anywhere else across the globe.
Our organization strives to collect as little data about you as possible. We use the information we collect to send and optimize our newsletter, action alerts, and campaigns.
If you want to exercise any of the rights above, or have any questions about them, our data usage policy, or your personal information, we encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re standing ready to help. (Keep in mind that under certain circumstances, a request could be denied, including for the protection of another individual’s data rights.)
What’s next? Stronger data protection everywhere
Our work is not done. Today marks the entry into application of the GDPR, and that’s a significant milestone that we should all celebrate. But we need robust enforcement and implementation of the GDPR to ensure that our rights become reality. Access Now is working to make that happen through our membership to the EU Commission expert group on the implementation of the GDPR. We’re also standing firm for data protection in countries that lack – or are updating – a comprehensive, user-centric data protection regime, in the US, Tunisia, India, Argentina and beyond.
To that end, we have developed a policy guide, built on our experiences with the GDPR, to assist those seeking to develop a comprehensive data protection framework that meets the obligations under international human rights law. Creating a Data Protection Framework: A Do’s and Don’ts Guide for Lawmakers shares lessons from the process and outcome of the GDPR negotiations, as well as flagging issues for the implementation of a data protection framework.
Have questions about the information in the guide? Seeking more guidance as you develop legislation and policy? We are here to help, and we look forward to working with you.