GDPR is a gun amnesty

Feb 4, 2022, 4:05 PM

GDPR are the rules created by the European Union that dictate what websites must do when serving European customers.

Some of the rules make a lot of sense

  • Don't keep personal customer data longer than you need it
  • Don't track customers without their consent.
  • Keep customer data safe and secure at all times 

Unfortunately the rules have lead to the requirement to add a "cookie accept" popup to every website that might serve European customers - which is potentially every website in the world. This has had the knock on effect of increasing the amount of noise on the website that must be "Accepted" before we're able to get to the information we want.

Due to "Alert Fatigue" a lot of people don't pay much attention to "Warning" or "Please accept" messsages. This is the same as not reading that huge End User Licence Agreement (EULA) that you accepted to turn on your computer or install that piece of software, or use that social media platform.

Therein is the problem with this "protect the sheep" legislation. In much the same way as a gun amnesty is purely honorable people giving their guns to the police,  the companies who abide by these rules to the letter are precicesly the ones who would have respected their customers privacy without this legislation.

The solution is not to regulate websites - which are actually just places you visit in your browswer - the solution is to instead educate the user about using online tools to maintain their privacy.

Such as

If you're up for a bit of a technical challenge, an excellent solution is Pi-hole which uses DNS filtering to block adverts for your whole house. Pretty clever. See Links below to install and start using these tools.

Pro-tip: Get a 2nd Birthday

Heres another Pro-tip from the privacy angle that i deploy on every website that asks my date of birth.

I don't give my real date of birth (unless it's for serious business, such as govt, insurance, health etc).

For every other website I give this 2nd fake birthday date (just like the queen) that I can easily remember (only choose one 2nd birthday to make it easier to remember)

This date i chose actually makes me 10 years older than I should be to people who see it - but only once have I had someone comment on this.  

Use a VPN

VPNs used to be used by dry and stuffy corporations to protect their internal data systems over large geographical areas. Now they are really useful for makeing it look like you're on another computer in another country. This really stuffs up anyone who tries to figure out where you're coming from