Data monopolies such as Google have it wrong: GDPR is great for innovation

Major tech companies such as Google and Amazon were questioned by the US Senate Commerce Committee recently as part of discussions around privacy and data regulation.

One theme stood out strongly – the idea that GDPR in Europe was stifling innovation, and leading to fewer data-driven apps and solutions. Google, for example, said it was a “tremendous challenge” for them to comply with the legislation, with the assumption that smaller companies and start-ups would find it even harder.

But actually, this is very far from the case if you talk to start-ups, such as digi.me, which are currently innovating in the personal data ecosystem. GDPR has actually been a catalyst for many companies to put more data in the hands of individuals, which is a great and positive step.

Digi.me, for example, is actively benefitting from GDPR, because the rules around the consented use of personal data chime strongly with what has been our guiding vision from the start – putting individuals back in control of their data, and where it is shared.

But the narrative remained, frustratingly, one-sided as only the tech big guns were invited to take part.

We’d have loved to tell our side of the story – as would the many other companies working on different personal data solutions and apps in a thriving and growing ecosystem that already stretches around the world.

As our US CEO Shane Green said on Twitter: “You’d be surprised to learn how much more innovation with data is possible while enhancing privacy…as long as users can access and control their data.”

The big tech companies have a lot to lose if the US enacts Europe-style privacy legislation – but consumers have everything to gain.

Consented data use is the goal, and privacy should always be built around individuals.

 

 

 

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