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General Data Protection Regulation affects many industries in EU

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvice/Illustration/File Photo

Many industries including the Internet, financial insurance and tourism services have been affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect across the European Union (EU) on Friday.

The new data protection rules, regarded as the world’s toughest on data privacy, are expected to revolutionize personal data protection for all of the EU’s citizens.

The GDPR has created a strict legal framework regarding data privacy and imposes fines of up to 20 million euros or four percent of the offending company’s worldwide annual revenue from the previous financial year. It also clearly stipulates data rights of individuals and the obligations of the data controllers and processors to protect these rights.

“Now the definition of personal data in the GDPR makes it very clear that even if those platforms don’t know what our name is, they probably hold enough data about us as if they are tracking our online browsing activities to amount to personal data. So that would be one example of the way in which the legislation is trying to have an effective purchase in the online environment by clarifying the concept of personal data on the circumstance in which it will apply,” said Anya Proops, a lawyer from 11KBW Legal Limited.

The rules require companies to collect information in a legal, equal and transparent way. In addition, they are supposed to explain to users the way they collect data and adopt reasonable measures to delete or correct false information.

“So it’s making data controllers more mindful of their responsibilities by making them aware that they really are going to face significant difficulties if they process data unlawfully and they are not transparent about it when they do that,” Anya added.

GDPR went into effect across the EU after four years of discussion and two years of an interim period. — Reuters

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Malaysia to send back plastic waste from Europe, US sent for ‘recycling’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Containers of plastic trash from shipped to Malaysia from 14 countries including United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain | Courtesy: Reuters

Malaysia will send as much as 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste back to the countries it came from, the environment minister said on Tuesday (May 28), the latest Asian country to reject rich countries’ rubbish.

Malaysian officials have identified at least 14 origin countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain, for its unwanted waste sent “under the pretext of recycling”.

“So, what the citizen of the UK believe that they sent for recycling is actually dumped in our country. And this is something that is very serious, and we did not only find this one company, we have found a few companies from different countries,” said Yeo Been Yin, Malaysia’s Minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment.

Malaysia last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned its import, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of the trash a year.

Dozens of recycling factories have cropped up in Malaysia, many without operating licenses, and communities have complained of environmental problems.

“Now we know that garbage, like what you see just now, is traded under the pretext of recycling,” the Malaysian minister said.

He added that 60 containers of trash that had been imported illegally would be sent back.

“We are compiling the list of the so called ‘recycling companies’ from these developed countries and we will send back, send the list of these names of these companies to the respective governments, to take further actions against, and investigation for these companies in their respective countries,” he said.

“Malaysians like any other developing countries have a right to clean air, clean water, sustainable resources and clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations a right to clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations,” he added. (REUTERS)

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WHO says migrants risk illness in host countries, lack access to health care

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Female migrants standing in line to get their temperatures checked by a Red Cross worker in Malaga, Spain on January 15, 2018 | Reuters

Migrants and refugees arriving in Europe are likely to be healthy but risk falling sick due to poor living conditions in their host countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a first-ever report on migrants’ health.

WHO regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said on Monday (January 21) that refugees and migrants in Europe do not bring “exotic” diseases but are in higher risk to of getting sick because they lack access to health care.

Poor living conditions also increase their risk for cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer, though they are less affected than their host populations on arrival, WHO said.

The report said that a significant proportion of migrants and refugees who are HIV positive acquired the infection after they arrived in Europe. Despite a widespread assumption to the contrary, there is only a very low risk of refugees and migrants transmitting communicable diseases to their host population.

Jakab said that in some European countries “citizens estimate that there are three or four times more migrants than they are in reality”. — Reuters

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From marshmallow pool to ice cream land: Lisbon museum keeps millennial sweet

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2018


The exterior of Sweet Art Museum (Image grabbed from Reuters video)

An unusual pop-up museum in Lisbon is delighting social media-focused visitors with colorful and dreamy displays of giant ice-creams and all thing sweet.

The Sweet Art Museum is Europe’s first exhibition dedicated to happiness, its founders said.

Co-creator Carla Santos says she got the idea from similar exhibitions who are popular in the U.S and she sees this new type of museums spreading across Europe as they appeal the younger, social media-focused generation.

Indeed the displays are designed to offer creative photos opportunities to a public who likes to ‘share’. The museum’s main audience is 15 to 30-year-old girls.

Among the most visually appealing works are the ‘Splash Mallow Pool’: a pool full of fake marshmallows for visitors to dive into and the Candy Wash bathtub.

The exhibition features a total of 8 thematic and scented rooms: Splash Mallow Pool, Happy Hall, Ice Cream Land, Gummy Game, Candy Wash, Pop Circus, Sweet Dreams and Lucky Fruit.

Visitors have access to an app that allows a better interaction with the displays during the tour, which includes virtual reality games, holograms, and photo competitions.

Co-founder Hugo Silva says the digital dimension is key to capturing the attention of tech-savvy millennials.

The museum is open until the end of August. -Reuters

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