General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in May 2018. The regulation focuses on providing data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and all individuals whose data is processed by an EU controller (regardless of their location). It also includes special protections for children’s data.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation defines ‘personal data’ as:
“any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in
particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
You have the right to:
- be informed about the collection and use of your personal data;
- object to the processing of your personal data for marketing purposes or on grounds relating to your particular situation;
- obtain access to a copy of your personal data;
- ask for incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete personal data to be corrected;
- request that personal data be erased when it’s no longer needed or if processing it is unlawful;
- receive your personal data in a machine-readable format and send it to another controller (‘data portability’);
- request the processing of your personal data is stopped.
These rights apply across the EU, regardless of where the data is processed and where the company is established. These rights also apply when you buy goods and services from non-EU companies operating in the EU.
You have a right to ask a company or organisation as to whether or not it holds any personal data which concerns you.
If they do have any personal data of yours, then you also have the right to access a copy it free of charge. You are also entitled to get any relevant additional information (such as their reason for processing your personal data, the categories of personal data used, etc.).
If you want to find out what a company or organisation knows about you, you need to make a Subject Access Request (SAR).
A SAR can be made to any person working at the desired company or organisation. A SAR can be done either verbally or in writing – this even means you could request your personal data through social media, although email is the most common format.
As well as the information that’s asked for, an organisation has to provide details of why it was processing the personal information, how the information is being used, and how long it is due to be kept for.
Children benefit special protection with regard to processing their data for marketing. This is because young users may be less aware of the risks, consequences and safeguards concerned with marketing.
The GDPR sets the age of consent at 16, but individual member states may lower this as far as 13. A child below the age of consent cannot provide consent for themselves. When consent is the lawful basis for processing a child’s data reasonable efforts to verify that the person giving consent is old enough to do so, are required. Online services must obtain consent from the holder of parental responsibility for the child.
Regulators have the ability to fine businesses who don’t correctly comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations.
For instance, if a company or organisation doesn’t process an individual’s data in the correct way, they can be fined. Similarly, if there’s a security breach, the company or organisation can be fined.
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.
Recycling collection services vary across the country. There are many factors that influence these services. For instance, whether the area is urban or rural, the type of housing you live in and the local facilities available to process your recycling.
Three Main Recycling Scheme Types:
Kerbside Sort Scheme
Recyclables are sorted into their respective materials on the lorry at the kerbside.
Paper and card are collected in one compartment and the containers (cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles and jars) are collected in another compartment.
Collections where all your recyclables are put into one compartment on the lorry. They are then taken to a Materials Recovery Facility where they are sorted.
What happens at a recycling centre varies slightly depending on how your recycling is collected.
After it is collected by your local council, it is taken to a nearby Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). At the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), all recyclables are sorted and separated into different types of materials. This is done by hand, machine, or a combination of the two.
The machinery, processes and materials vary from facility to facility; however, the general basis of the process is as follows:
- The recycling bin, box or sack is emptied into the collection vehicle.
- After gathering all the recyclables from the local area, the collection vehicle takes it to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), where it is loaded onto conveyors.
- The sorting process begins with the removal of incorrect items such as crisp packets and plastics bags. This is the biggest problem when it comes to sorting recyclables as it has to be done by hand. If these items are missed it can clog or damage the machinery and other equipment.
- Vibrating machines separate cardboard and paper from the mix. The different types of paper are sorted by hand and then baled.
- The remaining recyclables continue on another conveyor where steel cans are removed using magnets. A special kind of magnet called an eddy current is used to sort aluminium cans.
- Different types of plastic are identified and separated using optical scanners.
- Glass, if collected in your local area, is the final material left on the conveyor, which is dropped into a large container.
- Once separated they are taken for reprocessing at specialist factories.
The recycling rate:
44.7% in England
47.7% in Northern Ireland,
42.8% in Scotland,
54.1% in Wales.
Brexit refers to the withdrawal or exit of Britain from the European Union.
British + Exit = Brexit
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. Each country pays to be a part of the union and in return they gain access to certain ways of working together. This includes being part of a “single market”, which means that goods can move between member countries without any checks or extra charges. It also allows free movement of people, meaning citizens of EU countries may live and work freely in whichever EU country they choose.
All Member States remain sovereign and independent states, but they pool some of their ‘sovereignty’ in areas where it could be beneficial to work together. In practice, this means that the Member States delegate some of their decision-making powers to the shared institutions they have created so that decisions on specific matters of common interest can be made democratically at EU level.
The EU was created after the Second World War. It was thought that if countries traded with one another and became economically interdependent, they would be less likely to conflict.
The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum –commonly referred to as the EU referendum or the Brexit referendum –took place on 23 June 2016. It asked the UK population whether the country should remain a member of, or leave, the European Union (EU).
More than 30 million people voted, with the Leave campaign winning by 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent.
David Cameron, the former leader of the Conservative party promised a referendum should his party win the general election in 2015. This promise arose during a period when the Conservative party were under pressure from Eurosceptics and were losing votes to the right-wing populist political party UKIP.
When the Conservative party won the general election in 2015, they activated a manifesto pledge to hold an in-out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
Essentially, the referendum revolved around two central issues: the cost of being a member of the EU, and the power and control the EU holds over the UK. While the UK is a sovereign state, (meaning it makes its own laws and rules), the UK shares some of their ‘sovereignty’ with the EU in areas where it could be beneficial to work together.
The Leave campaign advised that this sharing had gone too far, and it was no longer an ideal or beneficial relationship. The Remain campaign, on the other hand, believed it to be beneficial to continue to be a part of the EU.
Vote Leave was the official campaigning organisation that supported a Leave vote in the 2016 referendum. Other non-official campaigns included Leave.EU and Grassroots Out.
- Britain will regain £350 million a week (to spend on NHS and science research)
- EU regulations are highly damaging to our economy, costing small businesses millions every week.
- The UK has no power to make free trade deals with fast-growing economies like India and China – unlike no-EU Iceland and Switzerland.
- A quarter of a million EU immigrants come to the UK every year, which puts a big strain on public services like the NHS and schools.
- The EU’s migrant crisis is out of control.
- Lack of control over vital policies. (Over half of the UK laws are made by unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels who the UK never voted for).
- The European Court will be in charge of the UK’s borders, immigration, asylum and intelligence services.
- The EU court means the UK cannot stop violent convicted criminals from coming from Europe to the UK.
- Taking back control over our borders.
Britain Stronger in Europe was the official campaigning organisation that supported the Remain vote.
- The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner. Remaining retains access to the Single Market.
- Being inside the EU also makes it more attractive for companies to invest in the UK, meaning more jobs.
- Brexit would cause an economic shock and growth would be slower. (Chancellor George Osborne argued that a Leave vote would cause an “immediate and profound” economic shock, with UK economic growth falling 3.6%.)
- The UK is not part of the EU’s border-free zone – The UK controls its borders (The UK has the right to check everyone, including EU nationals, arriving from continental Europe.
- Immigrants, especially those from the EU, pay more in taxes than they take out.
- The Government has negotiated a deal which means that in the future, new EU migrants will not have full access to certain benefits until they have worked in the UK for up to four years.
- Only a minority of UK laws derive from the EU.
- Britain retains a veto in many important areas.
- Cameron’s EU deal allows national parliaments to block legislation.
- Some sharing of sovereignty is crucial to enable fair trade across Europe.
British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over who are resident in the UK or Gibraltar were eligible to vote. UK citizens resident overseas were also eligible to vote, provided they were registered to vote at a UK address in the last 15 years.
Residents of the Crown Dependencies (which are not part of the United Kingdom), namely the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, even if they were British citizens, were excluded from the referendum unless they were also previous residents of the United Kingdom (that is: England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is a short paragraph which sets out the steps a country needs to go through to withdraw from its treaty obligations.
In terms of Brexit, only the UK government could trigger Article 50; other EU states could not force them.
Article 50 was triggered by former Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of March 2017.
The Brexit transition is the period agreed in the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement which gives time for both the UK and EU to agree their future relationship. The UK has no say in the making of new EU laws during the transition but will have to follow all EU rules, including freedom of movement.
The transition is due to last until 31 December 2020.
(The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement allowed the UK–EU Joint Committee to extend the transition period by up to two years if it signed off on the length of any extension before 1 July 2020. However, no extension of the transition period was made. EU lawyers say that now this window has been missed, EU law makes it very difficult to agree to any extension).
At the end of the transition period, the UK’s relationship with the EU will be determined by the new agreements they have negotiated.
The EU and the UK have begun negotiating their future relationship. Like any negotiation, there will be agreements and disagreements over the structure of the UK and the EU’s new relationship. Also making the situation more challenging is the fact that this is the first time the EU has negotiated an international agreement with a state after it has withdrawn from the EU through Article 50.
The condensed timetable for the negotiations, which must be concluded before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, means that both the UK and the EU are under political pressure to find legal compromises quickly.