The GDPR aimed to bring awareness to the increased need for data protection and to give back to the user the power over their personal data. Many hoped that the new regulation will slow down the data collection practices of giants such as Facebook, Google, or Amazon. However, a study that analyzes the impact of the GDPR in the first six months since its enforcement suggests that such giants are favored, while smaller companies have a hard time complying with the complex requirements of the law. Furthermore, the study underlines that there were actually fewer tech startups born during this period. Perhaps it is due to the increased costs for legal compliance, or the requirements that still many perceive as impediments. Either way, this proves that big companies with an extensive budget find it easier to navigate the requirements of the regulation.
The study found that Google, Amazon, and Facebook all increased their market share since the GDPR has been enforced. For example, many small businesses and website owners, who rely on ads for revenue are choosing Google more than before, as they have GDPR-ready solutions.
On the good side, however, the regulation has indeed raised awareness among the public towards the need of data protection. The study shows that two thirds of Europeans are now concerned with this subject, including things like the political messages that are targeting them online and more and more choose to stay away from companies that repeatedly require them to opt-in any data collection practices.
Omer Tene, vice president at the International Association of Privacy Professionals declared that he does not believe the regulation is meant to change the experience of the customers. Also, experts believe the fines we have seen so far are too small, especially those for large companies, even though their data collection practices are still, many times, non-compliant.