Finally, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into effect, and there is panic all over the continent, as if there hadn’t been any data protection laws in force until now. And it seems like everyone slept through the two-year preparation period.
I shouldn’t really be complaining, because as a lawyer and a translator for German and English, the GDPR is giving me work until late at night. On the other hand, I don’t really like work that much, because it keeps me from more important things. And I do find the whole situation very sad, with everyone lying to everyone else on the internet now: companies pretend that they care about your privacy and will protect your data. And users click on “Yes, I have read and understood the terms and conditions of this website/app”. Nobody has ever read those!
But what would you expect from people who put up gadgets in their bedrooms to record every spoken word (and other sounds) and to transmit these recordings to a company? People even pay for that! Or they buy overpriced watches to not only constantly transfer all of their private data, their current location at any time, but also their blood, pulse and liver scores to a corporation. Actually, it would be wrong to call that spy device a watch, because something that doesn’t work for 24 hours without the battery going dead doesn’t fulfill the most basic function of a watch. And you can’t imagine how many super-important business negotiations I could already listen to and how many Excel spreadsheets I could read on the train, because people with cell phones and laptops don’t ever seem to be able to wait until they get home.
Which of your data do I collect?
None. Why should I?
Of course you may/should post comments and those comments will be saved and displayed. That’s the point of comments. But I bet you already were aware of that before.
Very rarely, somebody has asked me to delete a comment they had previously written. Then, I usually only delete their name, but leave the comment there. Comments are like letters to the editor. If you change your mind after three years, the publisher won’t destroy all old papers.
WordPress allows me to see how many people from what countries have clicked on my articles (hence the interesting list of countries/flags on the right). But I cannot attribute this information to certain individuals. Thus, I don’t know who of you is really reading my blog and who is not. (I usually learn that when people cease contact with me.)
In any case, I don’t check the statistics very often because they are rather depressing.
Cookies and Plugins
Oh yes, I probably have cookies and plugins too, because these buggers are all over the internet now. If you want to know what they do, you have to check with WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In any case, I recommend to get vaccinated.
I hereby object to all comments and messages that are stupid, boring or trivial as well as those which disrespect the generally accepted grammar principles.
Noncompliance may lead to blocking, ignoring and loss of respect.
I don’t believe that A sending an e-mail to B puts any obligation unto B to respond to said e-mail.
It’s nothing personal at all (and how could it be, for I often don’t read them), but I simply don’t have the time to read all e-mails, let alone reply to them. But when I do reply, I want to take the time for a well-crafted letter, which is why you may sometimes be waiting for half a year. I recommend that you use the time for books and long walks.
Material for the Blog
Whoever interacts with me by e-mail, in person or otherwise, or walks into my metaphorical field of vision, even if unintentionally, or attracts my curiosity, has to be aware that they may find themselves as the object of an article on this blog or – inshallah, one day – a book.
Yes. Data protection is like buying a car or getting married: if someones hands you a contract of 20 pages at the last moment, you can be sure that they want to rip you off. I actually think that terms and conditions and privacy policies should be limited by law to two pages. Or users should be required to read out loud the whole text (but not on the train, please) in order to confirm that they have really read it.