The first day of GDPR is proving manic, with many U.S. websites unavailable in the EU and an activist immediately going after major tech firms.
Known to many as GDPR Day, the 25th May is a big date for many reasons; not least because it should put an end to incessant emails begging for permission to keep in touch.
It also marks the cumulation of several years of preparation for many businesses, and the climax of an issue which has grabbed the attention of millions of people worldwide, despite its relatively dry subject matter.
Now, on the first day in which the laws can be enforced, several news stories have broken that illustrate the longevity of GDPR as a talking point.
Many major U.S. websites are blocked to those in the EU, including the LA Times, which in the most recent month received 51 million views, of which 2.5% came from the UK alone.
Those in Europe trying to visit the LA Times website receive a message which 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.’
It seems, therefore, that despite having two years to prepare, the site’s owners do not believe they are able to comply with the new EU regulations. Other U.S. websites that are unable to view include the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, as reported by The Register.
As well as a chaotic start across the pond, Austrian lawyer and data privacy activist Max Schrems, who has previously taken Facebook to the highest European courts and won, today launched complaints against both Facebook and Google for their supposed ‘forced consent’ policies.
Schrems and his team are taking Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – the latter two of which are owned by Facebook – to task, arguing that the consent boxes put in place by these companies do not represent a real choice for customers. The GDPR news cycle continues.