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Article from Issue 202/2017
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Data protection laws are not just about keeping personal information safe; they are also about stopping the derivation of personal insights from seemingly harmless information.

Opinion

Butter, Triangulation, and Data Protection

At the end of May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect in Europe. It creates a whole set of new responsibilities that are causing concern for businesses across the EU. It has effects outside Europe as well, because it will control the way businesses located in Europe can share data across borders, both within their company and with other companies.

While businesses are complaining about the new bureaucratic burden the GDPR creates, some privacy activists think it offers an absolute minimum level of protection in the emerging meshed society. This is not necessarily because of the way obviously confidential information is stored and used.

It seems obvious why we should be concerned about big chunks of personal data, but why should we care about protecting small details such as our date of birth, parents' names, postal code, and so on? Why does it matter when we're asked for them by someone with no need to know them?

[...]

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