Ever since the new EU data protection law came into force, companies have been making huge updates in their Privacy Policies. This includes VPN providers as well. According to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), companies that process, store, log, or share personal data of European Union citizens must now get permission to do this.
Before GDPR, users had little to no rights when it came to their personal data being “exploited” over the Internet. Websites usually shared this data with third parties. Now, unless the users allow this, companies will not be able to store or share this information. If they fail to do this, the fines will be enormous.
Under the GDPR law, companies will have to provide their users with understandable Privacy Policies, and an option for users that do not want to give their consent to share personal data. Besides, they will be able to also download all of their data and a detailed log of how the data has been used, or even delete it. Moreover, the company faces a data breach, they are entitled to report this to their users within 72 hours.
Simply put, EU citizens finally gained rights over their sensitive information. But what does it mean for Virtual Private Networks?
VPNs vs. GDPR
VPN companies had a hard time adjusting to these new rules. The GDPR law protects EU citizens but targets every company that works with people within this territory. This includes big corporations or even smaller businesses all over the world, who need to become compliant with the new EU regulations. VPN providers work with EU citizens, which means that they too have to change their Privacy Policies.
But what about their logs?
There are two main logs that VPNs keep – connection and usage logs. Almost every VPN provider keeps connection logs, because they help them improve their websites and the overall user experience. However, storing usage logs is a serious breach of the users’ privacy and goes against everything a VPN stands for. Unfortunately, many providers keep these usage logs, without their customers’ permission. Many times this is simply because they are legally bound to. And now, after the implementation of GDPR, their actions can result in millions of dollars’ worth of penalties.
So what does this mean?
It’s simple. VPNs will no longer keep usage logs without their users’ consent, otherwise, it would be considered a criminal offense. On the other hand, they will need to secure all of their sensitive data (connection logs).
But changing the whole working policy is not as easy as it seems. That’s why some VPN providers have not done this yet, while others are still in the process of updating their Privacy Policies.
For now, this is the list of the best GDPR compliant VPNs.
You No Longer Have to Worry About Your VPN Keeping Usage Logs
After the implementation of the GDPR law, you no longer have to worry about VPNs keeping your usage logs. This leaves you with a much bigger choice of great providers that were previously considered as not entirely trustworthy. As a matter of fact, many VPNs were legally bound to keep your logs, accordingly to their countries’ laws.
For example, many US-based providers had to keep logs because the US data retention law requires it. But not anymore. It’s a win-win situation for both users and VPN companies.
However, not all VPNs are or will be 100% GDPR compliant. Nevertheless, this is a real game-changer in the VPN world, as well as the Internet overall. Now, Europe is one step closer to becoming fully prepared and compatible with this new Digital Age.