Tag: GDPR

The GDPR monster

Friday, 25 May, 2018

BBC headline: “GDPR: US news sites unavailable to EU users under new rules.” What’s up? The BBC again: “GDPR gives EU citizens more rights over how their information is used. It is an effort by EU lawmakers to limit tech firms’ powers.”

The Twitter debate about the GDPR monster has been won by the inimitable joe.

GDPR


The Unintended Consequences of the GDPR

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

The blogger Yeats, as opposed to the poet Yeats, might say that the “rough beast” of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), “its hour come round at last,” slouches towards us to be born on 25 May. For Rainy Day, which runs on WordPress 4.9.5, this will have implications. Our hosting service, WP Engine, had this to say earlier today:

“With WordPress 4.9.6 coming this week, we will be seeing a few new features built around GDPR compliance. This release is different in that it is introducing new features in a Maintenance/Security update, and that it applies only to websites already running WordPress 4.9 and higher. While this is atypical of a release, it is important to include these new features because they provide an essential toolkit for handling GDPR compliance. We have weighed the risk in introducing these new features and since they are not manipulating or impacting existing WordPress features, we feel that this release is not only safe but also important in enabling you to make your site GDPR compliant.”

The Law of Unintended Consequences lays out three outcomes: Unexpected Benefit, Unexpected Drawback or Perverse Result. Which one the will the GDPR deliver? Well, the reality is that the EU can only enforce the GDPR against entities that do business in the EU. Any website hosted outside the EU doesn’t have to comply with the GDPR and the EU cannot compel China, say, to accept its notion of privacy. Companies that want to keep tracking users will either ban EU customers and visitors, or move outside the EU and do business elesewhere.

And, if a company’s servers are in the US and if it doesn’t have any EU assets, it can keep tracking EU visitors. Brussels can’t do anything about this because US courts are not going to uphold EU law against US citizens who have not broken US law. In other words, because the web is worldwide, one consequence of the GDPR will be the creation of a false sense of privacy.


JavaScript vs. GDPR

Monday, 7 May, 2018 0 Comments

“Simply paste our JavaScript snippet into your website’s code. We’ll check every visitor of your site and will block access to users located within the EU.”

That’s the USP of a startup called GDPR Shield. Its sole product is a snippet of JavaScript that simply blocks EU users, so that websites don’t have to deal with GDPR compliance. The entrepreneurial coders in the service of Dr. Nikolaus Fischer, with an address in Düsseldorf, describe their offer thus:

“The European Union’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which takes effect on 25th May 2018, creates uncertainty and risk for website owners. It applies to businesses world-wide, because it protects all users accessing your site from the EU, regardless of where your business is located. GDPR threatens website owners with fines of 4% of turnover or €20 million (whichever is higher). If you don’t have an in-house legal team, complying with the law requires you to consult with a lawyer specializing in data protection law. In addition, you’re at risk of vindictive reporting from no-win-no-fee legal firms.”

Looks like it’s time to add JavaScript to the list that includes coffee and bacon and answers the question: Is there anything it cannot do?

GDPR


London and Macedonia connected by Cognism

Sunday, 29 April, 2018 0 Comments

The London Co-Investment Fund is managed by Funding London and Capital Enterprise. It has raised £25 million from the Mayor of London’s Growing Places Fund to co-invest in so-called “seed rounds” (an offering in which an investor invests capital in exchange for an equity stake in the company) between £250,000 and £1,000,000. A recent beneficiary is the Macedonian AI startup Cognism, which has its development team in Skopje and its sales force in London, while the CTO, Stjepan Buljat, is based in Croatia.

Cognism develops AI tools for finding sales and recruitment leads, and the new funds will be invested in improving the company’s data research, upgrading its technology and expanding the teams in Skopje and London as well as opening an office in the US. By the way, the company says its sales intelligence is also GDPR compliant.

Note: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) proposed by the European Commission will unify data protection for individuals within the European Union and address the export of personal data outside the EU.