A new report covering Spain’s data privacy practices revealed that the country has strong policies, said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). However, some improvements need to be made to fill some gaps in certain aspects.
The ¿Quien Defiende Tus Datos? Or Who Defends Your Data report released by the Eticas Foundation looked into the privacy policies of the nation’s top internet and mobile app providers.
Upon investigating the type of info collected, for how long and sharing practices of 13 internet firms, the foundation found that the new figures are much better compared to those in 2018. This includes telecom providers, home sales and rental apps, second-hand selling apps.
Specifically, it showed that the companies have improved substantially when it comes to disclosing important policies such as the duration in which info will be stored and informing users about changes in policies.
The EFF article noted that of the 13 companies evaluated, “a handful are taking seriously their obligations under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”
The GDPR is the European Union’s privacy law known for being extremely strict and comprehensive. It was implemented back in December 2018.
While the Eticas study highlighted the significant progress made by these companies, it also noted that only the biggest companies were making substantial improvements, especially about transparency about sharing user info to the government.
Eticas’ criteria were based on the EFF’s format which looked into the protection practices of companies in the US.
Other standards include providing contact details for the company’s data protection officer, disclosing practices regarding international data transfers, and revealed the use of data-based non-human decision-making and profiling technology.
The study found that while most of the 13 firms evaluated complied with the rule to provide contact details, only 4 offered info about using non-human and data-based technology for decision-making and profiling. Six disclosed the use of such tech for profiling only.
Moreover, only 2 revealed their policies for data sharing with government agencies, one of which offering vague information regarding the matter. Only 1 gave a detailed explanation of the transfer between the company and government agencies.
Smaller internet service providers received points for defending user privacy in court and through campaigns.
It is important to note that the five home apps and the two second-hand goods selling platforms are in dire need of improvements. All 7 apps only received 4 stars out of the 13 criteria.