95,000 GDPR Privacy Complaints Made to Europe’s Authorities

New statistics recently released suggest that 95,000 complaints have been made to European authorities under the GDPR laws.

In June of last year, Europe passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While reaction was divided, there have been some interesting numbers released since then. Security whistle-blowing rose 165% according to numbers released just before the new year.

Now, more information is being released. According to recent data, European citizens have issues 95,000 GDPR related complaints to European authorities. The complaints ranged from telemarketing calls, promotional e-mails, and video surveillance. From Euractiv:

Commission regulators laud the figures as being indicative of how much more aware EU citizens are of their digital rights.

“Citizens have become more conscious of the importance of data protection and of their rights. And they are now exercising these rights, as national Data Protection Authorities see in their daily work,” a joint statement from Commissioners Timmermans, Ansip, Jourová and Gabriel read on Friday (25 January).

“They have by now received more than 95,000 complaints from citizens.”

Thus far, 23 member states have transposed the legislation into national law, while five nations, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal and the Czech Republic, are still in the process of doing so.

Commissioners on Friday rallied those who had not yet adopted the law nationally to implement the regulation “as soon as possible.”

“The Commission continues to monitor this process to address potential shortcomings,” the statement said.

GDPR affords powers to privacy authorities across the EU, allowing them to enforce fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher.

If anything, that is a strong selling point for member states to adopt the legislation. It shows that European’s are using the laws to protect their digital rights. The 4% of global revenues in fines available to authorities shows that the laws also have teeth as well.

The only thing that isn’t clear is what percentage of those complaints have resulted in action and what percentage of those complaints didn’t lead to any action. It’s one thing for any citizen to complain, but it’s quite another to ask how many were actually valid complaints. Obviously, not every complaint has been processed, but of those complaints that were processed, how valid are those complaints? That might shed even more light on how things are going with the GDPR laws.

Still, it’s an interesting statistic to see and it will be interesting to see how much further these laws develop as they get rolled out across the continent.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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