Inspiring updates to existing legislation and new privacy laws worldwide, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents a landmark for data protection. In effect since May 25th, 2018, the GDPR is the strictest data protection law in the world and covers the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of European citizens and residents. The legislation is applicable right across the entertainment industry, spanning the dubbing and voice-over activities of those working in advertising, through to film, TV, video games, audio books, animation, podcasts and other.
PII is defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, and covers a broad scope that includes both directly and indirectly identifying data. Examples of personal data include name, pseudonym, date of birth, email, telephone, photos, sound recordings of voices, union affiliations, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, fingerprints, DNA and more.
Voice is a biometric personal data, strictly protected by the GDPR as well as most international data protection legislations. It’s considered a ‘special type of data’ and consent of use should be explicit opt-in, renewed regularly, and must be 100% independent of work contracts.
The GDPR gives voice actors enforceable legal rights over how their PII – voice samples included – is collected, processed and shared by organizations. Talents are at the forefront of major GDPR compliance challenges faced by professionals working with dubbing & voiceover content. As voice is considered a personal data, companies processing voice recordings must comply with very specific legal requirements which include respecting talents’ data protection rights. Some of which include:
Studios providing dubbing & voiceover services often keep voice casting databases to cast projects. These casting databases are compiled over time and contain voice recordings from past projects, samples received directly from actors and agents, samples received from creative directors, partners and service providers, etc. The original file source is often unknown as is the compliance status of the PII. During the casting phase, voice samples are shared by the entire supply chain, unmonitored, thus unsecured. More often than not, actors are unaware of which studios have which samples and with whom they have been shared. GDPR gives actors the right to know and have a say in where and how their data is circulating.
A small portion of the entertainment industry has embraced GDPR and adapted their internal and external workflows involving voice data, but unfortunately, the majority are lagging in compliance. This is due in large part to an industry-wide lack of privacy education and training.
Whilst the GDPR is an EU piece of legislation, its scope, impact and application is global. Any business, no matter where they are located, that collects or processes personal data that circulates in Europe must meet all the requirements of the GDPR. This responsibility flows from any entity processing data and the data controllers that provide that direction. Failure to comply with the regulation can result in penalties of up to €20M or 4% of an organization’s global earnings.
GDPR is positive and gives voice actors control of their brand image and how they are presented, and whilst the GDPR is an EU piece of legislation, its scope, impact and application is global. Any business, no matter where they are located, that collects or processes PII of European citizens and residents must meet all the requirements of the GDPR. This responsibility flows from any entity processing data and the data controllers that provide that direction. Failure to comply with the regulation can result in penalties of up to €20M or 4% of an organization’s global earnings.
For more information on EU GDPR, we advise consulting the European Commission’s website that details data subject rights and organizations’ obligations.
Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only. Mediartis makes no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or validity of the information contained in this document. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for any legal advice regarding the respect of data protection.