Looking back on a year of GDPR – Summary

The following GDPR insights from Michael Becker, along with those from eleven other industry leaders, were reproduced by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (2019) in “Industry views: GDPR one year on” on May 23, 2019.

It has been a year since the GDPR tsunami washed on to the world’s shores. And, even though the GDPR waters have yet to settle, there is no doubt that the world’s economic topography has forever changed.

In the wake of GDPR, countries like the United States have responded to the call to give individuals self-sovereignty over their data. California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, which is similar to GDPR and will take effect on January 1, 2020. Also, Washington State and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts initiated laws similar to GDPR to give individuals new rights and authority over their personal information. Washington State’s efforts appear to have stalled, but the Massachusetts law is still taking shape and is expected to take effect in 2023 (“An Act relative”, 2019; Ropek, 2019).

Industry titans have also responded to society’s demands. Facebook’s CEO is repositioning Facebook by publicly announcing that “The future is private;” also, Facebook is introducing new privacy-centric capabilities (Statt, 2019). Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai (2019), remarks that “privacy should not be a luxury good,” but rather an inherent part of every product and service. And Apple’s Tim Cook suggests that we’re faced with privacy crisis, that people are not the product (Eadicicco, 2019).

Prosperity is on the horizon. According to the UK Government, in a 2018 report authored by Ctrl-Shift (2018), the impact and productivity to be had from empowering people with control over their personal data, not including growth from innovation, could generate much as $27.8 billion the country’s GDP.

Organizations big and small should not be resigned to simply comply with the rules laid down by the GDPR and similar legislation. They should not be afraid to empower individuals and to give them control of their data. Rather, to thrive in the wake of GDPR companies should embrace change, adopt new systems, and overcome their challenges, and use this opportunity to re-configure their value chains, organizational systems, and business models, to innovate, and most importantly to refresh and forge new bonds with the people they serve.

Credits: Title Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay


An Act relative to consumer data privacy. Pub. L. No. 120 (2019).

Ctrl-Shift. (2018). DATA MOBILITY: The personal data portability growth opportunity for the UK economy (p. 211). Retrieved from Department for Digital, Cultura, Media & Sport website: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/aattachment_data/file/755219/Data_Mobility_report.pdf

Eadicicco, L. (2019, May 4). Apple CEO Tim Cook says digital privacy “has become a crisis.” Retrieved May 21, 2019, from Business Insider website: https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-ceo-tim-cook-privacy-crisis-2019-5

MEF. (2019, May 23). Industry views: GDPR one year on – Blog. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from MEF website: https://mobileecosystemforum.com/2019/05/23/industry-views-gdpr-one-year-on/

Pichai, S. (2019, May 15). Opinion | Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/opinion/google-sundar-pichai-privacy.html

Statt, N. (2019, April 30). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the “future is private.” Retrieved May 21, 2019, from The Verge website: https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/30/18524188/facebook-f8-keynote-mark-zuckerberg-privacy-future-2019

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