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These past few months, our inboxes have been flooded with "updated terms and conditions," to better protect and manage your private information. No, these emails are not a timely realization of the need for Digital Trust in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that put Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress and made #DeleteFacebook trend on Twitter.
Those emails are coming for a different reason: General Data Protection Regulation.
GDPR represents a deadline for new European Union regulations, for which companies have had two years to prepare. Whether you are shopping for handicrafts on Etsy, connecting on LinkedIn, counting your steps with your Fitbit, subscribing to the latest news about craft gin, or finding your next Instagram worthy travel stay via AirBnB, GDPR is reshaping much of the Western internet.
This presents a real test for the world and its data: will this European experiment result in a global shift in policies and company behavior? Is GDPR the answer to mounting digital trust concerns or will new strategies arise in different regions? How would companies navigate an even more fragmented landscape of digital privacy regulation across the Digital Planet?

If that flood of email updates show us anything, it is the need to understand country and context for consumer digital trust and digital evolution in a broader context.
Where do you see things going next? We'd love to hear your insights.
Bhaskar Chakravorti
Senior Associate Dean, International Business & Finance, The Fletcher School
Executive Director, Institute for Business in the Global Context
Principal Investigator, Digital Planet

"The digital industry is riding an important—and turbulent—wave of change right now. As Facebook and others grapple with tough questions about data privacy and security practices, trust in social platforms appears to be plummeting. Companies and analysts are scrambling to figure out how to make privacy rules clear, protect user data, and evolve the business models that made them successful in the first place."
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In a recent survey by Varonis, about 7 out of 10 organizations in the EU and US believe that GDPR compliance will give them a competitive edge. But on average, only 35% believed that they were in full compliance with the new rules.

  • Digital Planet
    research initiative
    dedicated to understanding the impact of digital innovation on the world, providing actionable insights for policymakers, businesses, & innovators

  • Institute for Business in the Global Context
    home of the Digital Planet and The Fletcher School's business hub,
    where the world of business meets the worl

  • Master of International Business
    graduate business degree
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Digital Planet is an interdisciplinary research initiative of The Fletcher School's Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC). Dedicated to understanding the impact of digital innovation on the world, Digital Planet provides actionable insights for policymakers, businesses, investors, and innovators.
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