Over the past few days, internet users have been flooded with notifications from various websites, apps, and mailing lists they signed up for in a previous millennium, all declaring the official implementation of new updates to their privacy practices as mandated by the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s latest tool in the war on online shenanigans. At the core, it’s a good thing — European residents using computing gadgets should now have more insight and control into how their personal data is collected, stored, used, abused, and repurposed into fuel for the corporate engines that rely on us to be their consumer puppets. On a certain level it feels like an annoying form of paranoia, but this is the kind of response that occurs when multi-billion-dollar companies can’t give straight, morally upright answers to basic questions about what they do with all the 1s and 0s they harvest from our keystrokes.
As is wont to happen in the wake of radical societal upheavals, Comedy Twitter has been having a field day with the wave of emails, notifications, and pop-ups they’ve been receiving from organizations and proprietors desperate to comply and eager to keep their traffic from European visitors uninterrupted. I’ve laughed at too many to relay here without diminishing the effect, but some responses have been comedy gold.
Then tonight I found out even my own site was affected. I didn’t see that coming.
Thankfully the good and wonderful folks at Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, was ahead of the game as always. One urgent message notified me on my WordPress, directing me to make a single click, and presto: we’re officially GDPR-compliant. inserted into every entry and page is a link to the Official Privacy Notice for every website under the aegis of automattic.com and WordPress.com, which users on any continent can review at their discretion, ponder what it means for them and their clicks, and then stick around and keep reading things we wrote anyway. WordPress never ceases to amaze and impress users like me with how many burdens they lift off our shoulders, how many arcane requirements they fulfill on our behalf, how many protections they afford us with the greatest ease, and how many minutes they save us that we can put toward more content creation instead. Or toward some extra sleep, whichever satisfies my aging body more on any given night.
If you’re interested in reviewing that Privacy Notice, you can skip to the bottom of this entry, or you can click the link here here here here here.
Hope that helps! Now, can I have my European site traffic back? Our Friday numbers took a noticeable dive, but I assumed it’s because I’d jumped the shark and bored people away. It’s a relief to know it wasn’t my fault after all (this time), but if we could knock off any more outside interference with my li’l source of pride-‘n’-joy here, that’d be great. And if any Europeans have friends who are frustrated because all their favorite internet sites are currently inaccessible because of the GDPR crackdown, feel free to share any of MCC’s 1700+ entries, which should now be fully clickable on their end once again, should they choose to do so. They can probably skip the Revolution episode recaps, but I promise we have lots of other neglected but totally viewable goodies in our archives.