Eduardo Gonzalez U2053-2789 Department of Computer Science
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Gonzalez 1 Introduction The rapid advancements in technology in recent years has made it feasible and even profitable to track our online actions. Organizations such as private companies and government entities will go to far lengths to keep track of individual “digital footprints”. Consequently, massive databases are overflowing with our personal data, and all of which are potentially susceptible to data breaches. It is only logical for technology users to be concerned about the security set in place for their personal data stored by these organizations. All this considered, our privacy and its protection should be heeded with the utmost importance. Countries and international organizations all have varying approaches on the regulation and acquisition of information on citizens and consumers. There are currently no global standards for privacy protection. In order to gain a better understanding of the current landscape surrounding privacy, this paper will outline and compare the current privacy and privacy protection legislation implemented in the United States and the European Union. In general, the privacy laws enacted by the United States can be perceived as less comprehensive than their European counterparts. This paper will also delve into the impact created by these differences. Privacy It is important to first clarify the factors that defend our privacy. Defined by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation”.This means that regardless of the country and government, every individual has a right to protection of the law against such attacks and interferences that would violate this right. In reality, privacy protection, specifically, data privacy protection that involves personal identifiable information is shaped by context such as politics, society, and economy. These components have resulted in differences in privacy protection legislation in different nations. European Union Approach The current state of affairs concerning privacy and privacy protection in the European Union is in flux. After many years of deliberation, the European Union agreed to adopt the new privacy protection framework, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in April 8, 2016. This new legislation framework is set to replace the current regulations; thus, it will directly impact all member states and require their respective national legislation to adopt this iteration of regulations. However, the GDPR won’t be enforced until May 25, 2018, so for the purpose of this paper we will discuss the current set of regulations that are actively being enforced by the European Union. The current framework is a comprehensive set of regulations that provides a uniform standard for privacy protection to be followed by all state members. This framework is primarily driven by the legislation included in the Directive on Data Protection (DPA). This