Happy GDPR day

"Private" sign above a letterbox

It has certainly been interesting to receive emails from so many companies I have no recollection of doing any business with. Although I shouldn’t be, I’m still surprised at how many firms have my email address lying around in a database somewhere.

It’s all the more interesting considering I only changed my email address about six years ago, and completely disabled the one I used up until then. I wonder just how much stuff would be coming out of the woodwork if that email address still functioned.

Among them are a small coffee shop who made me supply my email address to use their wifi, just as long as I agreed to sign up to their newsletter (a practice I understand will now be illegal under GDPR). 😒

I have also been unamused by attempts to bribe me in exchange for supplying my continued consent to receive marketing emails.

There is a medium-sized independent Edinburgh-based retailer that presents a friendly face to the outside, but when you’re in their shop it is actually quite difficult to get served attentively. They offered me a £10 voucher to remain on their mailing list. I don’t know if that’s illegal, but it definitely feels like it’s not in the spirit of things. It annoyed me enough to actively hit the unsubscribe link, when I would otherwise have been willing to maintain that relationship.

GDPR Hall of Shame showcases the very worst of “crappy GDPR emails and shutdown notices”.

It is also seriously unimpressive just how many services have decided to abruptly block EU residents completely because they are either unable or unwilling to comply with the new legislation.

Most jaw-dropping of all is the hubris of dashcam app Payver. They say “talk to your lawmakers”. But their inability to comply makes you wonder what on earth they are doing with all that geo-tagged video footage of your drives.

Meanwhile, my passive-aggressive relationship with Facebook continues. I have decided not to accept their new terms and conditions, which they say I will need to do to continue using Facebook. At this stage I’m not sure I really want to continue using Facebook. So let’s see what happens after today. 😈

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