GDPR – I Don’t Get It

I’ve been terrified of blogging lately. Apparently, under new rules if someone from the EU visits my site and I somehow don’t comply with their trillion page policy I can be fined for millions of dollars? I don’t usually swear until much further in posts when passion reaches a swearing level. But, what the fuck! Seriously, I just started this blog as a place to share my thoughts and may one day make some money at it. At least, if I learned now and started it would much easier to begin an online business down the road, right?

Well of course, when I decide to do something that’s when it comes crashing down. It can’t be true. I can’t be liable for millions of dollars in fines, but I also don’t get it. I’ve read multiple articles and some say it’s so important that companies are choosing to not even do online business in the EU anymore. And others are saying it’s no big deal.

And then there are articles saying the US will implement their own policy and that slowly by slowly, country by country, we will begin putting our own policies in place and shutting each out. Our open world will again become isolated like it was, and to be honest, that might not be entirely bad. I’ve pretty much known the internet my entire life. I was just a kid before it, so my good memories are probably from a time when I lived in the moment and didn’t know any better, not because their was no internet. But my parents talk about a time when they enjoyed life more than they enjoyed world that our devices have sucked us into. A digital lobotomy they say.

Those were different times though. I get it was nice before then, but can we really go back. The world has changed, people are dependent on the internet. Those living in developing countries have been given hope and becoming online entrepreneurs which is changing their lives. Will the GDPR and other policies like it eventually tell bloggers in countries with far less wealth and resources that they can’t make a living online anymore or risk being fined for millions?

Of course that is absurd. The blogger could just comply with the rules. But apparently, the rules are not so easy to comply with. I’ve read that all I have to do is install a plugin and I’m good to go. If that were true, why are some companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to become GDPR compliant? I get that their software is more complex, that they have mulitple systems and so on. But the principles are the same for everyone are they not?

And this isn’t just people in developing countries. The reason I wanted to eventually make money online is because I know the economy here is not going to last. Whether it’s corruption because our governments and the rich do not give a shit about us, or if it’s automation and artificial intelligence that takes our jobs. We need to take control of our own future. But now they are regulating the one tool the gave us a fighting chance. And for the record, I really hate it when people say “they”. Who are they? I sure as hell don’t know.

I also want to make it clear for the 2 people (if that) who ever read this. I know the purpose is supposed to be a good thing, to protect people’s privacy and personal information. I get that. What I don’t get is that I can be opening up myself to legal punishment simply for having a blog. So I’ve decided I’m not going to get crazy with it for now.

For two reasons;

1. I don’t understand it fully and I don’t want to be liable for something I don’t understand. I mean, do I trust someone’s article, opinion, and interpretation I just found online? No. But I’m also not going to hire a lawyer just so I can run a blog.

2. What if I do all of that; set up my blog social media profiles, an email list, affiliate marketing accounts, learn SEO, and start putting in hours everyday only to have it all go to waste when more of these policies prevent our websites from even being seen by other people. It’ll be like the digital versions of the Berlin Wall.

I also don’t want to be pessimistic and give up before I even try. It’s like trying to buy a house and hoping your timing is good. I’ll keep reading and learning, but I’m certainly not ready to yet. And yes, I also realize that somewhere in the back of my brain I could be using this as an excuse to not start.

~Les

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