It’s finally over: the flood of e-mails that every single human being who possesses an inbox has received in the last few weeks thanks to the new data protection rules by the EU. These rules, called GDPR, have caused havoc even before becoming effective on May 25, and have probably caused the greatest spam wave of all time – all in the name of fighting against spam of course.
On the day the rules came into effect, several US pages panickingly switched off their platforms in EU countries,among them the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and Orlando Sentinel. But not only newspapers have blocked Europeans ever since: the list also includesShoes.com,Instapaper, and the History Channel. Meanwhile, ad companies, being hit the most by the new rules, have pulled out of the EU altogether, including Drawbridge and Verve , citing the GDPR as the reason that they can’t continue their business on the Continent anymore. Those staying have had to incur gigantic costs: British companies have reportedly sunk 1.1 billion dollars, and Americans 7.8 billion in preparation for GDPR.
Meanwhile, Europeans have been left grappling what to do. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized companies, NGOs, the press, and think tanks. Indeed, this has led to one profession profiting quite a bit from GDPR: lawyers. As Politico reports , for lawyers, the GDPR’s gestation period has amounted to a cash bonanza. Legal professionals refer to the 88-page law as the “gift that keeps on giving” due to the rich stream of billable hours and contractual work that come with it.
Realizing something? In all of the chaos, we haven’t mentioned Google and Facebook a single time. Now, it is true that the two corporations were hit with lawsuits of 8.8 billion euros on the first day. Those were filed by Austrian activist Max Schrems, and one single quote of his will be enough to see his understanding of voluntary cooperation in a market system:
Facebook has even blocked accounts of users who have not given consent. In the end users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the agree button – that’s not a free choice, it more reminds of a North Korean election process.
To translate: Facebook blocking users who do not agree to the conditions to use Facebook is the same as the election process of the world’s most evil dictatorship.