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What’s the value of your personal data – all you need to know about GDPR

Some people still remember the days when each door had a plaque with the names of the residents. And now, it’s difficult to even imagine such a situation. The times have changed, and our personal data have become a desired commodity. How much is your name, phone number and email address worth?

Who has received your data...
E-mail boxes have recently been flooded with messages from companies that have our data in their databases. This was caused by the introduction of the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation. Thus, we could see who had our information, and often these were companies we hadn’t even heard about. The new regulation comes to rescue – now, we can easily request our data be removed. Why so much panic, you may ask. After all, it’s only your first and last name or phone number. Have we really become oversensitive or are we right to be so cautious?
...and what do they know about you?
Have you taken part in at least one contest on Facebook? Do you do shopping online, often use Allegro or other such platforms? This gives companies quite a lot of information about you. What kind of information are they interested in? - Email address
- Phone number
- Address of residence
- Your personal preferences: what you like, what you are looking for, what interests you, whether you have children or need a loan.
How does it work?
You’ve noticed that your car’s third-party liability insurance is expiring soon. You want to check out the offers of a few companies, you enter the data in the insurance comparison website, and one or two days later you receive a call from an insurance company. They invite you to come to the branch, where you sign an agreement – with a discount, of course. An additional price to pay – your personal data.
How much are your personal data?
There is no one specific answer to this question. It all depends on how detailed are the data, what they pertain to and how much money can be earned on them. For example, a database of e-mail addresses can be purchased for a few to a few dozen groszes per record, the data of people interested in buying a car even for a few dozen zlotys per record, and information on potential borrowers – for up to 100 zlotys per record. Therefore, always think twice before granting your consent for data processing and check the scope of the consent. Your data may be sold e.g. to marketing companies, which use not only your e-mail address but also your preferences. On the other hand, the new regulation introduces higher penalties for entities which use personal data without a relevant consent.
Quid pro quo
Many companies tempt us with attractive offers. An example? A few zlotys discount for a subscription in exchange for marketing consent. Sounds like a good deal, you feel you don’t lose anything, but – do you really want others to trade in your data?
It’s time for the GDPR
Until recently, every EU member state had its own, separate regulatory solutions concerning personal data protection. The rapid technological development – of social media and mobile applications – has incentivized the EU to introduce regulations adapted to the existing reality.

GDPR aims to ensure that citizens’ data are properly protected. To achieve that, it introduces draconian penalties for companies which do not fulfill the obligations imposed on them. How will you benefit from the introduced changes?
- You gain the right to be forgotten – you don’t want a certain company to dispose of your data? No problem. You just need to request that the company remove the data, and it will be obliged to do so.

- You can easily access your data – you can write to the company requesting information on what data it has about you. If you want to transfer your data, e.g. from one service provider to another, it should be a piece of cake.

- Your data is protected – data controllers are obliged to report any infringements concerning data protection.

- Companies are obliged to implement appropriate security measures – they will better protect your data from unauthorized use. With the security measures, data processing should be limited to the necessary minimum.

- Your children will be safe – all consents for data processing of individuals under 16 years of age have to be given by their parent or legal guardian. Otherwise, the data are obtained in violation of the Regulation and you can demand that they be removed.
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