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Within 7 hours of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems and his non-profit None of Your Business (NOYB) lodged four complaints against Google and Facebook, seeking damages of $8.8 billion. Among its 173 recitals, the GDPR empowers litigants through enumerated rights of representation, judicial remedy, and compensation to create non-profit organizations, lodge complaints, and collect fees on behalf of users. Violations are punishable up to 4 percent of annual revenue. The EU claims that the sweeping regulation empowers consumers to control their data, but seasoned observers note that the law more likely strengthen existing players, those which can afford the $1 million+ compliance costs for new staff and software required by the GDPR. In this Teleforum, privacy and regulatory experts discuss the economic, legal, and geopolitical consequences of the new law and what it could mean for class action litigation.
Sunny Seon Kang, International Consumer Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Roslyn Layton, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Insititute
Adam Thierer, Senior Reserch Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University
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