Further notes from the evolving GDPR fiasco

GDPR fiasco
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

The collateral damage and fuelling of lawyers’ lifestyles as a result of the GDPR (Generally Disappointing Pointless Regulation) continues to be felt. Further and further afield.

For instance, you can always tell when there is an election going on in the US. It seems it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, you will now be under a pressure hose of crap from, well, anyone from Newt Gingrich (yeah, right), to ‘Stop the GOP’ (stop it yourself), to Susan Collins, who apparently wants donations to a campaign that is a) 3,000 miles away and b) pretty pointless even if you lived next to her.

The fact that these apparent role models and fine upstanding citizens can blatantly and boldy spam the whole damn world, without, it would seem, even a Small Data engine that would compare an IP address to a country, even a continent is a) a sign of just how flawed law making is and b) irresponsible with a capital IRR. The fact that these emails are unattractive and take negative campaigning to stratospheric levels is, for now, irrelevant.

Try unsubscribing (try climbing Everest naked with a small statue on your back) and the hose doesn’t decrease one metric tonne of water. It actually increases. The fact that you have interacted in any way triggers a sticky, unrelenting web of sales techniques to get you to update your ‘preferences’ (there is no button for what you really want them to do).

And even if you manage to click a button that says ‘unsubscribe’ the teeth of the new shiny law that is the GDPR swings into action with the alacrity of an arthritic dinosaur with bad teeth. Except it is asleep. Wait, it may be dead.

The truth is that the GDPR, like many other such initiatives, are a very, very expensive waste of time. We know what companies are ‘meant to do’ about spamming people. We know that when someone says stop it they should stop.

Yet, unless you are a human rights lawyer seeking the spotlight (and presumably a huge fee if he pulls off some class action suit or other) what can we, as individuals actually do?

Keep hitting the delete button is the simplest, quickest and cheapest (and everyone knows it) way.

Governments should stop spending years drafting all this stuff anyway, because sooner or later human beings will get their heads round the ‘value’ of their data. Then they will take measures to protect it and/or benefit from it and the game – for big business and politicians who are happily abusing it at the moment – will be up.

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