A new study has shown that GDPR is actually benefitting the environment. According to data analysed by software solutions company, Jet Global, 360 tonnes of CO2 is being saved every day from sending fewer marketing emails – the same as a daily full flight from London to New York. This has come within a collection of findings, studies and original data sets to demonstrate some of the unexpected positive and negative repercussions of GDPR.
One of the most surprising side effects following GDPR is the environmental impact. Since May the total number of marketing emails has decreased by 1.2 billion per day. As well as reducing the volume of emails in inboxes, this has also lowered the amount of carbon dioxide that is released in to the atmosphere, thanks to decreased server usage.
Since its roll-out in May 2018, GDPR has had a lot of knock-on effects that could not have been predicted. EU citizens have never experienced this much control over their data. 62 per cent of people feel more confident sharing their data coming into 2019. Organisations are seeing that consumers are responding more positively than before – with increased brand and website engagement.
Findings indicate that there was 30 per cent increase in time spent on a particular web pages, and a 38 per cent increase in spending on products recommended when transparent ad language was used. Not only this, but the public has become more comfortable knowing where the boundaries lie of data protection – the Information Commissioners Office has stated that data protection complaints to U.K regulators have more than doubled since GDPR passed.
However, not all the effects of GDPR have been as positive. 66 per cent of cybersecurity professionals say that restricted domain data access makes it harder to investigate cybercrime. Police no longer have as much access to the information needed to track down domain owners, or hackers, which elongates the process of closing down illegitimate websites or bringing perpetrators to justice.
Furthermore, hackers can now use the new GDPR ruling for cyber-extortion – hackers may possibly be able to coerce companies for money, in return for withholding information from the authorities. If companies are found to be not complying with data protection rules, they are subject to a range of GDPR penalties – potentially a fine of 4 per cent of their annual turnover. Even if a small portion of this were given to cyber criminals, it may encourage crimes such as cyber-extortion and blackmail.
Device security is an aspect that GDPR is still struggling to address. There are around 6 billion connected devices currently on the planet, which is estimated to dramatically increase in the next decade. Currently, there is no incentive for manufactures to create more secure devices, as there is no financial benefit or legal obligation covered in the current GDPR rulings.
The huge amount of data collected via connected devices can be compromised by hackers, and users may not be aware that they are not protected. While GDPR has advanced privacy and protection, it only just touches the base of a much larger problem.