The European Commission, which has become increasingly critical of member states and businesses dragging their feet over GDPR, appears to have its own problems after failing to meet its deadline to launch a major marketing campaign to promote the new regulation to consumers “by January at the latest”.
From the outset in 2012, the Commission has insisted that the regulation has been designed with consumers in mind, enabling them to take back control of their personal data and boost their privacy rights.
However, while businesses have long known about GDPR – whether or not they have done anything about it – consumer awareness remains pitifully low. According to the survey carried out by PORT.im at the end of last year, 70% of consumers are completely unaware of their new rights and have not even heard of the legislation.
In May last year, EU justice commissioner Věra Jourová claimed the Commission would to launch a “massive” marketing campaign across the EU. She also wanted individual EU regulators – including the UK Information Commissioner’s Office – to teach consumers how to complain and what their rights are.
At the time, Jourová said: “I will launch a massive information campaign by January at the latest. It should tell people about the new rights that the data protection reform brings to them.
“I do not want people to be paranoid. I just want them to know who is handling their data and what he or she will do with their data. I want people to give really conscious consent that can be withdrawn if they so wish.”
But with just two days to go until the end of the month, member states and businesses can at least take some comfort from the fact that the Commission is just like everyone else, struggling to get in shape for the biggest shake up in data protection regulation for a generation.
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