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Why am I getting so many privacy policy emails?

GDPR privacy policy email

There are four letters that explain why we’re all getting so many privacy policy emails. So many emails saying “We don’t want to see you go!” So many pop-ups on websites that say, “We’re changing our privacy policy”. Welcome to GDPR hell.

Not that GDPR is a bad thing. In fact, in the Great List of things the EU has done right, GDPR is right up there with slashing roaming costs and straightening our bananas. (You know the bananas thing is a Euromyth, right?)

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it’s essentially a set of rules for all businesses must follow if they want to do business in the EU.

In short, GDPR should stop businesses storing your data for longer than is necessary or for dubious uses. There are still plenty of valid reasons for Acme Inc to keep your email – if you’re a customer of theirs, for example – but it should stop you receiving random emails from Bananas Ltd just because they found your email in a list somewhere.

It also helps stop the greedy slurping of data. So, if Acme Inc doesn’t need to know your date of birth and inside leg measurement, then GDPR should force them to get rid of that information from their database. However, Tailors plc would have a very good reason to know your inside leg measurement. They can keep it.

So why so many privacy policy emails?

GDPR comes into effect in the UK on 25 May 2018 as part of a wider law called the Data Protection Bill. Companies are running scared because the new law is backed up with fines so big that even Mark Zuckerberg would emit a small whimper.

The reason you’re receiving all those emails, then, is that the companies want to make sure they aren’t going to be smashed with a fine. Or perhaps they’ve suddenly developed a conscience about all the data they’ve kept on you. (No, it’s the threat of a fine.)

And yes, the fact we’re all receiving so many emails about not receiving excess emails is lost on nobody. Even Alanis.

Read this next: How do I download data Google holds on me?

 

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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