You may have noticed that just about every site and service and platform you use online has been updating their privacy policies lately. That’s because of GDPR, the European General Data Protection Regulation that goes into effect on May 25. We’re not going to go into how the General Data Protection Regulation got started or exactly what it says, because you’re already on the internet and there are plenty of very comprehensive rundowns of it just a search away. Basically it’s a huge, internationally-binding set of rules about people’s rights when it comes to the use and control of their personal data. Yes, you guessed it, this started out as a slap at certain U.S.-based online companies who’d been pretty much just doing whatever the hell they wanted with all the user data they were collecting. GDPR doesn’t just apply to people in the EU, though, or to sites or companies based in the EU – it applies to every website that a person from the EU might visit that also collects personal data. Which, because of features like commenting, subscribing, and analytics, is pretty much all of us.
I’ll save the rant about overreach, censorship, and how nobody seems to have ever watched Hot Fuzz (“It’s for the greater good!) for another post. 😉