Our series dedicated to entrepreneurs who have been successfully supported by the SMOOTH pilots continues with an interview with Sabina Guaylupo, a trained lawyer, legal consultant and co-founder of MyDataMood, a European data platform that allows citizens to take control of their data and to share them with companies, making the relationship between companies and consumers more fair, direct and transparent. MyDataMood is based in Spain now planning to expand to the rest of Europe.
As an expert in the legal framework of digital privacy, Sabina was very interest to see what SMOOTH could offer to small enterprises in the EU, and she has met us to tell her about her views and experience.
Sabina, thank you for joining us today. As you are an expert in digital privacy, can you tell us, in simple terms, what is GDPR and why it is important for companies to follow it?
In my opinion GDPR is not just a regulation, it represents the European idea and understanding of privacy. GDPR is one of the first regulations coming in the framework of the Digital Single Market strategy from European Commission. One of the first regulations which was not just concerned with legal issues, but also with technical and digital issues.
It is very important because it is one of the models Europe has to offer in alternative to other international privacy standards, for example the ones from the USA or from China. This regulation is human-centric since it imposes obligations onto organizations anywhere, so long as they process data related to people in the EU (Data from European citizens wherever they were or residents in EU). From a European point of view we need to live under European values including the respect of the privacy of individuals, and not being constantly under the surveillance of big techs companies or technical hosts.
This focus on people is also motivated by the fact that people are more concerned about their digital privacy now than few years ago since people are entrusting their personal data with cloud services and they are aware that breaches are a daily occurrence.
This regulation makes companies comply with a strong privacy standard which helps consumers to be more confident. European SME must understand GDPR rules not as a barrier but a challenge. GDPR boost consumer confidence an in-turn business.
How did you find out about SMOOTH and why did you decide to join the pilot?
I discovered SMOOTH on social media. I am involved in different EU-funded projects and I follow their social accounts, and I think at some points one of them shared content from SMOOTH.
I wanted to know more about the Pilot and what it offers. For me it is very important that not just citizens, but also companies and entrepreneurs, are clear about the importance of privacy, particularly the one of groups like consumers and clients. This is where I saw the added value behind the project and its offer.
Now that you have joined the pilot, did SMOOTH deliver on your expectations?
Yes, it was what I expected. I carefully read the analysis report it delivered and, for me, one of the most important points was the advice and guidelines on how to use web cookies.
This is often a tricky issue for small enterprises. When entrepreneurs have to set up websites and then write the privacy and cookies policies, they often wonder themselves what these are and where they can find them. This makes this advice really useful to them.
Nonetheless I feel the report could be a bit more tailored. For example, it could be possible to select in advance the different type of databases, like users, clients, providers, employees, before uploading one so to get more tailored advance.
Any last comments on the project?
The SMOOTH report that you get after you participate in the Pilot is really tantamount to legal advice. Which is why a tailored report would be even more valuable for participants. From the perspective of the bigger picture, this would be very helpful for users.
This is something the project can think of and maybe future iterations can consider this.
You too can benefit from the SMOOTH pilot! Applications for the market pilot are open, so you can also apply to join this test: https://smooth.fundingbox.com/