Companies around the world have had two years to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The rule goes live tomorrow, with threats of fines that could reach €20 million or up to four percent of global revenue.
Those that got in early are having a blast post-data audit; readying their fresh clean new data for use in machine learning. Others are still desperately emailing consumers – seeking permission to keep doing so.
A recent Accenture poll suggests businesses face a potential drop-off of more than half on their subscriber base or marketing targets.
Anecdotal evidence from several businesses surveyed by Computer Business Review suggests things are significantly worse: one SME told us that of 2,000+ subscribers, just 34 had opted back in.
Others meanwhile, are just quitting Europe outright.
Instapaper, the bookmarking tool with millions of users, which is owned by Pinterest, has said it will be temporarily pull the plug on European users, emailing them with less than 24 hours notice that it was shutting up shop.
Freelance marketer Owen William shared the email on Twitter.
Instapaper says it needs to “continue to make changes”.
“Starting tomorrow May 24, 2018, access to the Instapaper service will be temporarily unavailable for residents in Europe as we continue to make changes in light of the General Data Protection Regulation” the email reads, adding: “We apologise for any inconvenience, and we intend to restore access as soon as possible.”
Unroll.me, which helps users unsubscribe from email spam by accessing everything in their inbox, suspended the service to EU residents this week; mobile marketing company Verve which specialises in location tracking is also out.
But it’s not just Americans having a last minute panic.
Labour Party members meanwhile getting emails using leader Jeremy Corbyn’s birthday on May 26 as a justification.
“Dear [member], this weekend it’s Jeremy Corbyn’s birthday -and the last thing he wants as a gift is to see our movement lose strength!
“But unless you let us know today, new data laws will mean we won’t be able to keep in touch with you and thousands like you who power our movement” the email says, as posted in https://gdprhallofshame.com.
For a party with a large membership base of over 500,000 and, like the Conservatives, an estimated emailing list of over one million, these are worrying times.