The News on GDPR Day
I figured it might be fun to review the news on GDPR day. Here are the stories I plucked from the ether.
The link above takes you to a nice balanced story which explains rationally, and in my view quite correctly that like many other laws GDPR makes life tough for the bad guys but has zero impact on the good guys. Of course, the problem we shall encounter in the coming months is that many of the bad guys didn’t know they were bad guys.
Actually it is not just those terrible twins, but also Instagram and WhatsApp, against whom complaints have been filed. They are all accused of being out of compliance with GDPR in obvious ways. In my opinion this is the beginning of a never-ending-story.
This is the same event reported from a different angle. Austrian Max Schrems filed complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, arguing they were acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access. Not only are there people who believe in personal data rights, but there are activists out there who intend to make the law effective and bring down anyone who violates it.
Remember Y2K and how the world was going to end because all the computer systems would crash. They didn’t, because developers did the necessary work. This is story is about newspaper websites failing to prepare for GDPR and having to go off-line on the day. We’re talking Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Didn’t they have an EU correspondent?
This story celebrates your inbox getting filled over the last few days with emails from businesses whose lists you never realized you were on. They are asking to confirm that you still want to be on the list you didn’t know you were on. You can’t be bothered to reply. So you’re no longer on the list.
However some less reputable companies have taken this opportunity to put you on their list. They have your email, they know you’re not an EU citizen, so now they are going to spam you. The proper response to this is to write back and claim you are an EU citizen living in the US and you’re going to report them.
This is a consumers-do-not-understand-what’s-going-down story. And that’s true. And it is what we should expect. That’s why we have activists. They know what is going down and they look out for us, or ruin our lives, or ruin our lives while trying to look out for us and getting it wrong, or try to ruin our lives but by accident make them better.
Almost nobody except the founding fathers really understood what they were doing when they wrote the constitution, but they had just won a revolutionary war and everyone believed they were acting in good faith. And they were.
This article points out that advertising has ruined the web and we need to reclaim it. I found it so interesting that I’ll probably write a blog about it in the coming weeks.