In order to celebrate Data Protection Day, the European Commission published a statement on the positive effects of the GDPR so far. Data Protection Day 2019 comes only 9 months after the effective date of the newest and most innovative piece of legislation in the data protection world, the GDPR.
The statement further elaborated on the biggest effect that the GDPR has had on European citizens – awareness about their privacy rights. The European Commission also commends the Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) for enforcing the new rules and better coordinating their actions in the European Data Protection Board.
As part of this statement, the European Commission published a “GDPR in numbers” infographic, highlighting some interesting figures and statistics since the GDPR came in effect:
- DPAs have received 95,180 complaints from individuals since May 25, 2018. More interesting is the fact, that the peak was reached over the winter holidays (December 2018 to January 2019) with 30,000 complaints lodged.
- The most common complaints to date are related to telemarketing, promotional e-mails and CCTV.
- Organisations have reported a total of 41,502 data breach notifications to their local DPAs.
- In response to the above figure, by January 2019, 255 investigations had been launched by DPAs.
- The high volume of complaints and notifications lead to the first major fines under the GDPR, including last week’s fine of €50 million imposed by the French CNIL on Google Inc. for violations of the GDPR’s transparency and consent requirements
- Several important cases are currently ongoing and could result in fines of up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the organisations under investigations.
- During the peak month of May 2018 GDPR was searched more oſten on Google than American superstars Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian.
The European Commission reported that the implementation of the GDPR requirements is advancing well in most of the member states, while some still need to be monitored (Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal and the Czech Republic).
In conclusion, the European Commission stated: “Today, Europe is not only ensuring strong privacy rules at home, we are leading the way globally.”