Sep 3, 2021

GDPR for the Video Industry

2 minute read
Michael Aubry

In 2016, the formulation of General Data Protection Regulation shook the digital world as many scrambled to figure out what it means exactly and how this would affect the way that they share. Content creators and e-media were particularly concerned about GDPR as it is part of their livelihood and not complying with these requirements may cause their content to be banned. While GDPR is a law passed down by the EU, it affects everything on the internet because information on the internet can be reached globally.

Recently, Google and Amazon were both fined a cumulative total of €135 million (USD $163 million) for violating the privacy rules regarding the use of cookies. CNIL, Commission Nationale de l'informatique et des Libertés, is an independent administration that is in charge of governing information technology to ensure that it continues to serve the interests of its citizens.

GDPR focuses heavily on information privacy metrics, so that everyday consumers can enjoy the internet at their own leisure and comfort. After the implementation, not much has changed with the way that we surf the internet, aside from having annoying pop-ups asking us to accept cookies in order to continue browsing. While one might assume that this has nothing to do with video content, the fact is that GDPR has also invaded the video content sector.

It’s your job to ensure your audience acknowledges and accepts that fact that Youtube collects data

This can be hard to navigate because when your reader clicks on the play button on your website, they unwittingly submit to Youtube’s cookies, and while you may think that this is entirely on Youtube, the fact remains that the incident took place on your site and you are the culprit for misleading your readers into storing cookies.

One way to bypass this is to write some custom code on your website so those who haven’t consented to cookies will not be able to view the video at all. Many SaaS companies understand that not everyone is technologically inclined, which is why there are plenty of plugins and services that allow you to turn privacy on for your Youtube videos when embedding them on your website.

The problem with Youtube is that they are not transparent on their data collection and what they do with the data they have collected. This is a war that has been waged by various institutions across the globe, such as Fairtube, and how they are drawing up demands for Youtubers to receive better treatment.

Surveillance cameras are also regulated by GDPR

Before sharing any CCTV footage online, you need to ensure that all faces are adequately obscured, and any information that may be gleaned from the video be removed so that audiences cannot identify where and when it was taken. Early this year, a German notebook retailer was fined €10.4m (USD $12 million) for keeping surveillance footage for two years, which is grossly excessive, especially since there was no legal basis for doing so. Aside from monitoring their employees, they also set up these cameras in high traffic areas and also captured footage of their customers.

Take extra precautions when navigating the post-GDPR world

You want to be cautious when sharing anything on the internet, whether or not there’s GDPR to consider. The internet has made it easy for identity thefts to take place and in a world where crime runs rampant and often undetected, we should take necessary precautions in adhering to regulations which are set in place to protect consumers.

Michael Aubry

Hey 👋 I am the founder and maker of Motionbox. My mission is to build useful tools in the video space. I enjoy science, art, and sports. Feel free to reach out to me.

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