The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has officially come into force today and while for many of us that means a final tidal wave of emails the privacy law is starting to have some unexpected consequences.
If you head over to the New York Daily News for example you’ll probably be greeted with this message:
It’s the same story with both the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and indeed any news website owned by either the Tronc or Lee Enterprises media companies.
Head to any of those sites and you’ll be greeted with the same message that reads: “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”
Rather than blocking EU users, US media organisation National Public Radio (NPR) is giving them the choice of either accepting to the terms or declining and then being shown a plain text version of the site that looks like it was created in the 90s.
GDPR isn’t just affecting US news sites either. Pinterest’s Instapaper app that allows you to save websites and articles to read them later, has also been temporarily shut down for EU users while it tries to bring itself into compliance.
The History Channel owner A+E has taken a blunt approach by simply blocking all of its websites entirely and hasn’t given any indication that it’s looking to reintroduce access to EU users any time soon.
GDPR is perhaps the largest piece of data protection law ever introduced and affects every citizen in the European Union. It requires that any company that collects data on a person within the EU must show them how they’re collecting that data and give them the opportunity to download it all with just 30 days notice.
Misusing this data or handling it incorrectly can carry enormous fines of up to 4% of a company’s entire global turnover. It’s for this reason that many companies outside of the EU are being especially cautious about complying with the regulations.