Category Archives: Personal

“The legislation is four to five times more complicated than existing law”

The Economist: The joys of data hygieneEurope’s tough new data-protection law. “Complying will be hard for businesses, but it will bring benefits too.”

“The new law was mostly written by privacy-conscious Germans. Consent to collect and process personal data now has to be “unambiguous” and for “specific” purposes, meaning that catch-all clauses hidden in seldom-read terms and conditions, such as “your data will be used to improve our services”, will no longer be sufficient. “Data subjects” can demand a copy of the data held on them (“data portability”), ask for information to be corrected (“right to rectification”), and also request it to be deleted (“right to be forgotten”).

The GDPR is prescriptive about what organisations have to do to comply. They have to appoint a “data-protection officer” (DPO), an ombudsman who reports directly to top management and cannot be penalised for doing his job. They also have to draw up detailed “data-protection impact assessments”, describing how personal data are processed. And they have to put well-defined processes in place to govern the protection of personal data and to notify authorities within 72 hours if there is a breach. Companies that persistently ignore these rules face stiff fines of up to €20m ($25m) or 4% of global annual sales, whichever is greater.

As a result the GDPR ensures that all organisations which collect and keep data will take their use (and abuse) much more seriously”

The GDPR will have effects on my weblog as well. See WordPress.org:

GDPR Compliance Tools in WordPress.

“GDPR compliance is an important consideration for all WordPress websites. The GDPR Compliance team is looking for help to test the privacy tools that are currently being developed in core.
What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. Its primary aim is to give control back to the EU residents over their personal data.

Why the urgency? Although the GDPR was introduced two years ago, it becomes enforceable starting May 25, 2018.”

I, too, grew up in Germany in the 1980s

Catapult: Children of ‘The Cloud’ and Major Tom: Growing Up in the ’80s Under the German Sky. “In the sky you could watch history happen as though on the world’s most massive TV, and history’s wreckage could rain down on you at the park with your friends.”

Even though I’m about five years older than the author, many of his descriptions reminded me of my childhood experiences.

Link via MetaFilter.

18 years + 8 days

I just realized that I missed this weblog’s 18th anniversary last week on January 25th. It’s all grown up now…

To continue my tradition:

On this day in…
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005 (a day late)
2006
2007
2008 (16 days late)
2009 (six days late)
2010
2011 (three days late)
2012
2013
2014 (eleven days late, though I posted in the meantime)
2015 (forgot the anniversary entirely, closest post was three days later)
2016
2017

“Whoa, there’s colors!”

PhyiscsGirl: Can you see this type of light? (YouTube, 9:45min) “Polarized light is an unusual form of light. Can humans see when light is polarized?”

By the way, you can train yourself into seeing the polarization of light. The video mentions staring at a lcd screen for a while and tilting your head to see Haidinger’s brush. You can do the same thing with the sky on a clear day. After practicing this for a bit, you’ll be able to detect the polarization of the sunlight easier and easier.

Auf deutsch heißt das Phänomen übrigens Haidinger-Büschel.