The Author

Ana-Maria Caminski

Ana holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Communication and Public Relations and Philosophy, also the Master in Applied Philosophy and Cultural Management. Her main preoccupation focus in issues related to antisemitism, organized murder, the constitutional crises from Europe and capitalism policy.

25 May 2018. This day will enter with certainty in history. After two years, the proposal for reforming the old Directive 95/46/EC (‛Data Protection Directive’) and the Police Directive  was finally adopted by the European Commission and has received a new legislative body called General Data Protection Regulation[1]. The need to reform the very old legislation of twenty years  has appeared in a context of the technological development also by economical reasons.

In an era when the digital means for communication became more performed from a day to another, people do not feel anymore safety in their private realm and under the control of the personal dates. Everywhere they go, enter, the personal dates are required in the banks, public institutions, sometimes on the street or on the phone by the opinion questionnaires.

They have to make a proof of their own identity, so to identify themselves every time they shop at the cash registers through the credit cards. For a simple account created on a social network, a platform for employment are requested the personal dates without knowing what it will happen with them.

In a Technological Era, the distinction between what is public and what is private has become a very shadow distinction. Can a digital signature required in a bank to be still considered as something private? The personal dates transferred from a place to another, without any consent and for marketing reasons are still personal?

The losses of the private character it seems to be one of the features of the modern societies. In our (post)-modern society, all that once belonged to the private realm, to the intimacy of an individual can be made public by a mouse-click. Apparently, the legislation adopted on 25 May 2018 by the European Commission has come to put an end to this uncertainty, confusion.

After 25 May 2018, the EU citizens, of the Member States, but not only from the European Economic Area (EEA), also from countries less economically developed, they no longer have to be afraid for the security of the personal dates. Starting up to now can get the control over their personal dates, through the new legislative measures that were introduced in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Unlike the old directive, the new Regulation offers the possibility for a private subject to ask in  a public institution and/or from the private sector, in a bank, an insurance agency for instance, where their personal dates goes, what kind of information are retained in a database and how long, which is the purpose of processing the personal dates. This is available inclusive for all the companies that develop a marketing activity on line, for an employment platform, and a social network.

From now on the bureaucrats, public functionaries, no longer appear as if they were a hypostatized Being in the eyes of the citizens which have the right to put questions. To object, make an opposition if the situation requires so, to say “no”, don’t give their consent in the processing of personal dates. Or, the right to be “forgotten”, erase from a database, at the end of a public relation[2].

The Regulation protects the private subject from the collective subject. This limitation of power of the collective subject on which generally we call public institutions, companies, agencies, came from the need when, many times, the private subject confront itself with an abuse of power, not having any options to protect his rights in the public relations.

The GDPR tries to equilibrate the balance of power between the private and the collective subject. In the last decades, the balance has inclined more in the favor of the collective subject and that was the natural consequence of the technological development.

Actually, from the very beginning of hers discovering in Venice, the collecting of personal dates, namely the statistic’s science played a key role in the development of economics, of the capitalism policy, and has been also used as a modern technique for social control. In his writings, the historian Jakob Burckhardt named Venice “the statistic’s homeland” and rightly so, because there, more than in any other corners from earth, the statistic developed as a science.

This serenissima cittadella was  one of the most important commercial center from Italy. Statistic has developed there where the money could be transformed in numbers, which were the economical index for the entries and outputs in the flux of the commercials transactions. At the beginning, statistic served as an instrument for the development of the market, in later times as a method for social control.

The embassies, public institutions, administrations used the statistic with this specific purpose, for developing the trade and for the social control. Nowadays, the statistic is used for the same economical reasons like at the beginning of the modern epoch.

The Regulation speaks about the protection of their citizen, neighbors and their personal dates, but encourages and the digital market. The protection “goes hand in hand” with the need to gain the trust of the potential clients for the development of a single digital market.

The statistic[3] shows clearly this distrust, on which the EU citizens have in front of the new digital means of communication and the information which are providing through them. These social media of communication offers a good example on how the social domain invaded the private life of the individuals and put the control on her. The Reform tries to regulate this aspect through legislative measures and, in the same time, to gain the trust for the digital market.

This vision to create a single digital market is by far a futurist dream, when the advanced technique can transform the dream into a reality. Now, more than ever, when some companies from  UK and United States of America already adopted the replacement of the credit cards with the new advanced technique of the microchips.

The chips may facilitate the circulation of dates and of money, of course, between European Economic Area and the biggest concerns from the world. Even if, at the present moment, the access of personal dates through the implementation of the microchips is presented as a private access, we don’t know if won’t became public until tomorrow.

The “Brussels effect”[4] will be felt in all the countries that want to maintain their contact with the European Economic Area. If the countries less developed from the Eastern Europe don’t want to lose the contact with the European trade, they will have to adjust their national legislation to the new European rules, otherwise will be “left out in the cold”.

Through the GDPR, Europe plays again her role Officer who keeps a waking-eye on the circulation of the dates. Only that this time the role is much more significant, because on a legislative basis will be able to protect, control the circulation of the dates, but also the trade world.

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[1] See the ‛Communication on data protection – guidance on direct application of the GDPR’ from the following web address: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/justice-and-fundamental-rights/data-protection/2018-reform-eu-data-protection-rules_en.

[2] Ibidem. In this direction, see and ‛Better Data Protection rights for European citizens’.

[3] Ibidem. See the ‛Better rules for European businesses’.

[4] With regard to the “Brussels effect”, see the article published on: https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-data-protection-privacy-standards-gdpr-general-protection-data-regulation/.

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