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Vaclav Kosar
Software And Machine Learning Blog

GDPR Is Copyright

17 Jun 2018

I like the intention behind GDPR, but in reality GDPR it is similar to copyright, which is often controversial.

GDPR seems be even stronger version of copyright as I will try to demonstrate.

The Synonym Swap

Wikipedia on Copyright:

Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. …

Wikipedia on GDPR:

The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data

How different are those laws? Let’s swap some of the words in copyright with almost synonyms.

Copyright … grants the creator of data exclusive rights to control

To me the gists of the laws look very similar.

GDPR Is Stronger Copyright

GDPR may cause even more controversion than copyright as it is stronger in one dimension. It gives the citizens control rights over data created by their actions that are linkable to them which are effectively created half by them and half by the platform.

So the data citizens have control over does not have to be original and can even be unintentional. It is enough that the data comes from some action of the citizen and can be linked to them.

Prevention Over Protection

Personally I would prefer if there was more focus on the private data leak prevention rather than blanket protection. Had there bin good understanding and desire of citizens to guard their data, to use only privacy strong browsers and VPNs, there may not have been need to create such blanket law with wide impact.

On the other hand this is common trade-off when laws are put in place.