5 things you need to know about the GDPR

Today marks the first day of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, a new set of rules meant to give European Union residents more control over their personal data.

Tronc, headquartered in Chicago, owns some of America's biggest newspapers, including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and Baltimore Sun.

People in the bloc have been bombarded with dozens of emails asking for their consent to keep processing their data, and a privacy activist wasted no time in taking action against USA tech giants for allegedly acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access.

The complaints were filed with four authorities, based on the residences of users. Facebook's latest efforts to address its missteps and attempt to regain public trust come just before the rollout of a sweeping new data privacy law in Europe. It claims Facebook created fake red dots suggesting new messages, which the user could only see if they agreed to the new terms of service.

"This (forced consent) is an issue that we will be looking at immediately, and work is already underway", said Helen Dixon, head of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which will be responsible for policing USA giants Facebook (FB.O) and Google (GOOGL.O), among others.

GDPR has brought headaches and significant costs for many companies, which have had to update their systems with very little benefit to show for it. Critics say the regulations will stifle innovation and risk blaming the victims of cyber crime - companies that are hacked - for the behaviour of the criminals that target them. Businesses must detail how someone's data is being handled, and clear a higher bar to target advertising using personal information.

"It's a gradual and not a revolutionary kind of thing". Account holders can send an email at [email protected] for this objective.

The right to access: If they request it, any organization that has personal data regarding a data subject must provide it to them within a month.

One of the changes under GDPR means that, whereas before you could remain on a mailing list for all eternity, you now need to actively opt in if you want to continue receiving relentless spam.er, we mean valuable updates. Part of the problem is that the rules are so complicated that companies may find it hard to know for sure if they comply.

That said, European Union regulators are clearly going to tread softly on the enforcement front in the short term.

The GDPR gives European Union residents who are having their personal data collected-called "data subjects" in the law-eight rights.

"GDPR is an important step forward for privacy rights in Europe and around the world, and we've been enthusiastic supporters of GDPR since it was first proposed in 2012", Julie Brill, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

The right to erasure: You can remove all of the data a company has stored on you.

"Every company that does business in Europe is going to have to change the way they think about privacy", Thompson said.

"Europe's new data protection rules will be a reality tomorrow", said Andrus Ansip, VP for the Digital Single Market in a statement.

Earlier this month a survey revealed a terrible complacency and lack of preparation among British businesses about GDPR.