Rights debate highlighted with data protection law

New legislation which will comply with EU Data Protection Regulation will allow citizens to force social media and online companies to delete personal data.

The new law will give the Information Commissioner Office the rights to issue “tough fines” up to £17million, or 4% of global turnover for breaches of data law.

David Emm, principal security researcher, Kaspersky Lab, said: “The drafting of a new Data Protection Bill would grant unprecedented rights for consumers to force social media websites and online companies to delete their data and take back control of their personal information.”

Consumers will have the legal right to force social media companies and online traders to delete any unwanted content by the end of summer.

“In combination with the incoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) being implemented by the European Union, there will be widespread changes in the coming years to the way organisations collect, store and process data,” announced Emm.

Theresa May revealed plans to give people the right to request social media deletion during the Conservatives’ election campaign, and the Queen’s speech promised the legislation.

‘The public should embrace the new freedom’

“It is important that the general public embraces this new freedom and recognises the value of personal data – not just to ourselves but to would be cyber criminals,” said Emm.

“New data protection laws are designed to make organisations more careful with our data, but regardless of this, it is important that we, on an individual level, know what information is being kept and how it’s being handled – which will also reduce the likelihood of it falling into the wrong hands,” added Emm.

Emm also noted: “Being vigilant online – whether when using a work computer, home laptop, mobile or tablet device – should be second nature. Undertaking simple steps, like regularly changing passwords, reviewing default settings on social media and using anti-virus software across all devices can significantly help protect data.”

Written by Leah Alger