Tech giants could emerge as the true winners of GDPR

As the dust of GDPR settles, tech giants could do better than expected

Amazon and Google could transpire to be the champions of the newly regulated data economy after experiencing an initial bout of public criticism. Ironically, those companies who are (subjectively) the most accountable for non-consensual data acquisition may come out on top.

Advertising networks have been dubbed the losers of the scandal, and indeed programmatic advertising in Europe slumped this weekend. This could potentially threaten profits at Google’s DoubleClick network until compliance issues are rectified.

The nuanced nature of data laws means that organisations may require a highly scaled service provider to automatically manage new regulations. The complex legislation thus has the potential to provide a fruitful opportunity for firms offering this service.

While data sovereignty is somewhat complicated, it looks like firms that provide cloud technology could benefit from the debacle. Google boasts this capacity, along with other major providers like Amazon and Microsoft Azure.

Storing massive amounts of individual data is risky in terms of cybersecurity, and increasingly unsustainable. While some startups are attempting to tackle this issue, tech giants (and GDPR offenders) are realistically more well-equipped to deliver this service efficiently.

These particular companies are still failing to comply with the new European privacy rules, however, according to a recent study. The report states that the policies of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon remain vague and unclear.

“A little over a month after the GDPR became applicable, many privacy policies may not meet the standard of the law. This is very concerning. It is key that enforcement authorities take a close look at this,” Monica Goyens, director general of the European commented.

While the European Union’s GDPR policy has received a mass amount of press coverage, China has also enforced a law that demands all cloud computing and Chinese consumer data to be hosted on China-based servers. Russia has since blocked Google and Amazon cloud services.

Although these laws differ quite dramatically, they all serve to protect the consumer from data exploitation. The foundation takes this one step further, and argues that “everyone has the right to legal ownership of their inherent human data as property.”

The human data marketplace is worth an estimated $150B to $200B annually, and this data is often acquired and sold without “consent, authorisation, consideration, or compensation”, according to Morality aside, tech giants offering cloud services could potentially capitalise on the very problem they helped create.