DID H.G. WELLS FORESEE OUR 21ST CENTURY WORLD?

To paraphrase the opening lines of Jeff Wayne’s musical version of H. G. Well’s masterpiece, ‘The War of the Worlds’. . .

“No one would have believed, in the early years of the 21st century, that human affairs were being watched, from the timeless worlds of the the internet”.

“No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinised, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few even considered the possibility of life beyond reality and yet, across the gulf of the information superhighway, minds immeasurably superior to ours, regarded our data with envious eyes”.

“And slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us”.

The reality is that in the modern world, virtually everything we do is recorded, monitored and analysed by people and computers. Many of the marketing communications we receive are derived by automated processing and logic, based on our habits and information we might not even realise we are providing.

This is why there are laws that businesses in the UK and EU are obliged to follow, and guidance to help them to protect the data they hold that can identify us as individuals, to ensure that it is used ethically and appropriately.

There will always be some unscrupulous companies who flout the law or believe it does not apply to them, however, from 25th May 2018 new laws will come into force and new powers will be given to the authorities policing the use of data.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is an EU law which the UK will have to replicate following Brexit. This new law gives more rights back to you, the ‘data subject’.

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