You Cannot Hide from the EU’s GDPR

You cannot hide from the EU’s GDPR!  Nice try Zeke, but not good enough!  But we live in America, and not in the EU.  Shocker: It doesn’t matter!  Then I will just close the top! If you connect with a EU member, then he is protected by the rules, and regardless of being based in America, you are required to follow them.  There are stiff penalties for non-compliance, and yes, the EU can come after you in the USA for their euros!  Or should I say, YOUR euros!

What is it?  Before I go on let me say it would take a team of specialized lawyers to figure out what it is about by the way it is written.  Since I am not one of those, or even close, I can not vouch for the accuracy of what I write today.  Maybe my European friends may be able to shed some light on this.  Anyway, the point of it is to give individuals control over their data on the internet, and the right to know who is using it, what for, and the right to have it all removed, i.e. the right to privacy.  Sounds good in theory.  But I am running a low traffic cat blog on WordPress, so what do I care?

I will get to that reason why I care in a moment.  I noticed some of my German blogger friends talking about the GDPR and changing their blogs.  One lady quit blogging altogether “with tears in her eyes” she said, I paraphrase.  Another turned her blog “Private”.  Others turned off their “likes” and “comments”.  Others also removed all gadgets and widgets with links to other people, like “Blogs I follow” , or ‘Posts I like’ , leaving a clean, bare bones looking blog theme.  This is what got me interested into digging into this.

Once again, what is the problem with my low traffic “American” hobby blog?  The big problem is requiring email addresses to make comments on WordPress.  Collecting email addresses leads to being able to identify the person commenting.  I am talking here only about the email addresses of EU commenters and not Americans.  I don’t know where these email addresses go or are stored?  Or what WordPress does with them.  It is a privacy thing I can see.  Here is another big problem.  What if your European follower comes to you and says he wants all his public comments removed from your blog? It is his right under the GDPR.  What if he says, he also wants all his “Likes” removed from your blog?  You must comply according to the GDPR.  Imagine trying to find them all and delete them!  This is the reason some of my German friends have closed comments and disabled likes.  That is the easy way to comply.  The fun of interaction between bloggers is destroyed by doing this.

Additionally, a large disclaimer is required on your blog as well.  Just as an exercise, I have copied some data from various places and put it on my “Disclaimer” page just to give you an idea.  Some is broken English.  It is far from comprehensive.  Maybe a “Europeans Prohibited” sign?!

Help is on the way for WordPressers.  Their tech and legal wizards will very shortly be coming out with “something” new for us to put on our blogs to help us with compliance, but I don’t see how everything could be addressed.  It better come out fast, because we got less than two weeks to become compliant.  I will mention it as soon as I see it.

Like I said at the beginning, I may be wrong.  I hope I am, but I think I am not too far off the mark.

Zeke in box

You cannot hide from the GDPR

 

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36 Comments

    1. Looks like the comments will be allowed with the right disclaimer. You are correct it would be pointless blogging, though you could make your blog private and invite selected viewers, I follow a private blog and she does ok. Thanks for your comment Susan!

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  1. That’s an excellent summary of the GDPR stuff. I turned my “Like” off, stopped using Google Analytics, already made my MailChimp GDPR friendly, but I am waiting for WordPress for my policy/disclaimer/legal stuff about their products like JetPack or Akismet. Purrs

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  2. One blogger I follow and who follows me lives in Istanbul…! Which side? Europe or Asia? Frankly, this may be the end of my hobby blogging. I have a fairly large number of European follows, and I enjoy their comments, look forward to their posts, and hate to think I’d have to end these contacts in the interest of privacy. More like censorship in some sense. It definitely makes the point of blogging, um, pointless.

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  3. this is important to know so thanks for bringing it up. I have email address on comments enabled — it is a primary way of knowing if a comment is by a spammer — if they have certain medication names in their email or website url, it is spam. I want people to be able to visit other people so that if they leave their site url in comments I am fine with that. This comes from lawmakers jumping to make fast laws due to news like the Facebook thing without really understanding how it effects things in other areas. I don’t want to block likes or comments and my audience is primarily American but it seems unfair to have to block Europeans who make up the 10% of my audience because politicians make a law without understanding how the wide variety of interactions on the internet actually work. So what? tell europeans, you can read but don’t touch — no likes or comments and I will read but not touch your blog? Asking them to put little flags on their icons and blogs so we know what country they are from? I feel sorry for them. Also it should be illegal to make a law where people can attach income from people not in their country — ie taxation without representation. We should push American lawmakers to make a law that the EU cannot attach American income — especially when they make overbroad sweeping laws.

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    1. It is worse than what you think. We are supposed to check the links to their blog or site to ensure there is no illegal activity on it, before we post their comment! I forgot to mention that. That is our responsibility. That would also be true of the “like” function, but I cannot individually remove them or check them before they are added. That is why Likes may have to go, in my opinion. Blogger does not have them, and Blogger blogs survive. The mega collection of data and the giant data breeches help drive this movement. Thanks for your input!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Blogger blogs survive because people comment instead of liking. When I’ve participated in blogspot writing challenges, I get a lot more comments and people say to participate please comment. So blogspot will have a problem too because this effects comments.

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  4. While I think it is about time that data on the internet gets more secured, all this “shut little bloggers down” is not to my liking. We will see if the lawyer mafia will sue private blogs that do not sell anything and just show ad the blogger doesn’t have any influence over!

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    1. There may be some illegal blackmail. Pay me this much money and I won’t report you to the EU watch dogs! Your blog is free of links to other places and people, I notice. I have “cleaned” mine up as well. Comments so far tend to be the tricky problem. Thanks for your input, Fran.

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  5. I want to hide too. I am worried and hope I don’t have to shut off comments or there would be no point in blogging as I do it to be in touch with like minded people.

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    1. Although my mind is a bit muddled, I think Blogger (Google) also is coming out with some guidance of some sort. They suck up everyone’s information! The problems and rules become more complicated if you sell anything over the internet to a EU member. I do have advertisements put up by WordPress I have no control of, to pay for my use of their blog platform, because I am too cheap to pay to get rid of them. I have a disclaimer statement about them and I hope it is good enough. On the plus side, I think the EU will be focusing on large businesses and enterprises, and not subpoenaing Cody and Dakota! I am helping a European blogger comply so I am focusing just on hobby blogs and their rules. Thanks for your interest, Caren.

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    1. I think most Americans think it does not apply to them, so they are not taking any notice. I thought that as well until I started reading about it. I plan on helping a European friend make her blog compliant. That’s when I found out the ugly truth! Humourously I think my “Europeans Go Home” sign is the easiest way around it! But not very friendly. I will speak when WP releases “something”. It will be hitting the fan soon, so we will all be hearing more about it. I did not go into what it might mean for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites since I don’t use them. It is going to be trouble for them as well. Thanks for your comment, Christine.

      Liked by 2 people

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  6. That is strange and troubling! There are many European bloggers I really enjoy. I sure wouldn’t want to remove their comments and ‘likes’. It’s my understanding that ‘likes’ on the posts, the ones that display the avatar pictures, can be removed by the person who ‘liked’, but not by the person whose post has been ‘liked’.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Yes, you can remove your own like, but I cannot individually remove yours. I can get rid of all the likes en mass however on a post I do believe. I have seen a few plugin comment forms that require the commenter to check a box saying he agrees to the rules stated before the comment is posted. Maybe we will get this feature. Thanks for your input.

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