GDPR Questions Answered – Free Webinar

Last updated: May 17, 2018

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

Does This Concern Me?

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a hot topic this month as the new European Data Privacy Regulation is about to take effect on May 25th. It is complicated but if you have U.S.-only users, it doesn’t concern you.

Graphic for SiteGround's GDPR blog post

This concerns you if you have websites and apps that collect personal data used by people living in the European Union or use hosting companies that are based in the EU. Websites and European-based hosting companies must be GDPR-compliant by 25 May 2018.

The GDPR requires that when a user signs up for a free or paid service, for an app or website, and provides their personal data, the provider of the service has to notify them explicitly how their personal data will be used before they complete the registration. Whether that use is for marketing and profiling, or if there is a possibility of the data to be subject of sale or transfer to third-parties, it has to be explicitly stated in advance. Users will be able to say NO to certain types of usage and will have to give consent – opt in – to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of the provider, thus making an informed choice.…

The GDPR will regulate how personal data of individuals in EU territory gets collected and used. It defines what personal data is – being literally everything – name, e-mail, username, address, phone number, financial data, age, behavioural data and more, and obliges everyone who collects and processes such data of EU individuals, no matter where that company or person is located around the world, to act in accordance with this regulation.

SiteGround from How is SiteGround Getting Ready for the GDPR?

Is Your Hosting Company in the U.S. but Based in the EU?

If you are using a U.S. entity of an EU-based hosting company, check their operating procedures for how EU data is handled. You may have apps or websites that ask for EU clients' data. That data may be transferred to and processed by the U.S. entity. For example, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) chapter's website is hosted in the SiteGround U.S. data center and we have EU users who register for competitions, mentoring, or subscribe to website posts.

How is SiteGround Handling This?

SiteGround Hosting logo

In accordance with the GDPR, SiteGround, and other hosting companies with similar setups, needs to ensure that the U.S. entity offers the same level of protection of the EU data, as guaranteed in the GDPR, even though it is subject to U.S. jurisdiction. SiteGround will regulate this through Standard Contractual Clauses*, which will be included in all contracts between U.S. and EU entities to guarantee the transfer of data is compliant with the GDPR requirements.

They are also working on a certification under the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield with the Department of Commerce that they adhere to the Privacy Shield Principles regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland, respectively, so they can lawfully host EU clients' data on their U.S. servers when that is needed.

Informational Webinar

Two weeks ago, SiteGround held a free webinar in the EU attended by over 6000 people interested in how the new piece of legislation affects them. The following materials are available to help those who could not attend the seminar get a better understanding of this new regulation.

  • Free Live Webinar Video: "What is GDPR?"
  • SiteGround's Senior Legal Advisor, Maya Stoyanova, spoke about the new regulation and answered live questions from the audience. They received a lot of interesting questions. You may watch the recording of the webinar and read the answers of the most popular questions at https://www.siteground.com/blog/what-is-gdpr-webinar/.

  • Blog Post: "How Is SiteGround Getting Ready for GDPR?"
  • You can read more about what SiteGround is doing to be GDPR-compliant in a blog post at https://www.siteground.com/blog/gdpr-siteground-getting-ready/.

    * The Standard Contractual Clauses are standard terms provided by the European Commission that can be used to transfer data outside the European Economic Area in a compliant manner.

Learn about EN 301 549 from Funka

Last updated: July 16, 2016

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

With sponsorship from Microsoft, the Swedish accessibility company, Funka, recently produced a series of instructional videos explaining EN 301 549. EN 301 549 is a European standard for accessibility requirements in the public procurement of ICT products and services. ICT stands for accessible information and communication technology.

  1. Video 1: What is accessibility in an ICT context. What is the EN 301 549. How does procurement help accessibility. Who should watch this video series.
  2. Video 2: Integration of accessibility and the EN 301 549 into the procurement process. How does it fit into an ICT project value chain. What to expect from ICT suppliers in terms of conformance claim. How to control the deliverable is actually meeting the requirements.
  3. Video 3: Explaining the structure of the EN 301 549. Explaining functional performance statements (chapter 4). Technical requirements (chapter 5-13). The relationship between the two (Annex B) and testing criteria (Annex C).
  4. Video 4: Functional performance
  5. Video 5: Generic requirements

These videos are published under the creative commons license CC BY-NC 4.0. All videos have transcripts.

Learn more about Funka on their website. If you know Swedish, you can visit the Swedish version of Funka. They are on Twitter as @FunkaNu. You might consider signing up for the Funka monthly newsletter called Updated.

Follow the Microsoft accessibility team on Twitter as @MSFTEnable. They were the source and inspiration for this article.

Now, get your popcorn and get ready for video 1. When you watch them on YouTube, you will find links to the subsequent videos in the video navigation section.

Ban the Bulb?

Last updated: March 5, 2015

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

Discussions about banning the incandescent light bulb have existed for some time. The incandescent light bulb is already phased out in some countries. The concept is to save energy and the environment, which is very praiseworthy.

Why is this news on a blog about accessibility and technical communication? We technical communicators who are not blind do need light to do our work – reading and writing on paper or on screen. The quality of that light is important. We should not have to strain our eyes to see (possibly resulting in headaches and so on). It is important that the lighting in our work areas and homes provides the amount of light we require to do our work. Personally, I have been all for the energy-saving light bulbs. A few years ago, a lighting expert told me that with my aging near-sighted eyes (it's all downhill after age 40 :-)), I should only use the incandescent bulbs. The energy-saving light bulbs were not providing enough light for me, so my brain would compensate to "fill in the blanks", resulting in strain just to see. I don't recall her exact wording, but I discovered that she was right. I felt more relaxed – both physically and mentally – when I had an incandescent light bulb in the reading lamp. Reading, kitchen work, computer work – it was all more enjoyable.

Therefore, it was a surprise and shock to read at the end of 2008 that the European Union approved an EU-wide ban on the so-called traditional light bulb by 2012. In the middle of arguments about saving the environment, an environmentally oriented German consumer protection agency pronounced that the ban was not wise for various reasons, including health reasons. (You can read about this in an English-language article from Spiegel Online or find the October 2008 article from the site (in German only) of the German consumer protection agency.

The latest stir comes from the excellent Ouch! – the BBC's website "that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people." In the latest blog entry, Ouch! asks "Are you incandescent with rage over lightbulbs?" Go read the article to learn more. Comment on their site or here on your faithful Accessible Techcomm blog! Let's shed more light on this topic!