So by now, you’ve probably had your fill of emails from various websites emailing you, nay pleading with you, to stay on their mailing lists.
For those that have been living under a rock for past 6 months GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 to give it its full title, came into force today.
In essence, the idea is to give consumers or ‘Data subjects’ more control over their data, who does what with it etc.
The problem with GDPR is, that like a lot of legislation, it was written by people who are clueless when it actually comes to the subject matter at hand.
Exhibit A your Honour: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explaining to the US Senate how the internet works.
So the big tech giants ran amok, sure there was limited legislation in place to cover the basics, like the Data Protection act in the UK, but nothing which really kept pace with technology.
The other fundamental problem is that we’ve become lazy. Tech has put the information superhighway in the palm you our hands. The average smartphone now has more computing power than the NASA mission to put a man on the moon. Our phones will do just about everything; banking, photographs, video in 4k, social media, control your central heating and so it goes on.
Which leads me to exhibit B:
How many times have you logged in to a new website by clicking the social media icon rather than creating a new account? Do you just think it’s there for your convenience? Almost every time is the answer is YES, and whilst you probably think it’s part of the UI & to speed up your experience in actual fact it’s about DATA. Each person, according to Statista.com, has on average 7.6 different social media profiles, all with a data value.
And that’s the crux of GDPR, we the public have been too lax for too long with our data because we never really understood its value. Now the genie is out of the bottle and it’s far too late, even with GDPR, to put it back.
The long and short of this is that it has cost SME a fortune in lost time for what? Something that will have been forgotten about in 4 months?
Moral of the story: Careful with your data, if a login is made easy for you or a social media site hounds you for birthdays or to connect other programs – There is a reason because it has a value.