The 25th of May is coming closer and closer and companies getting hectic in preparing themselves for DSGVO to match the requirements. But is this the right approach?
To make this clear, tracking people on the web in the way it is currently is not acceptable anymore. Facebook and Google get so much information about people that it’s too easy for them the profile, measure, and (sadly) manipulate them. So the European Union sets up more and more regulations to prevent this. But the thing is: The intention may be good, but where there is light, there is always a shadow close by. The negative aspect of this is that you put the same pressure on the people who are on the web providing information and content. I´m not talking about companies. I talk about blogs and communities that have only the intention to share their interests and hobbies. This is something where the Why DSGVO is the wrong approach to protect the people.
25th of May is coming closer and closer and companies getting hectic in preparing themselves for DSGVO or
makes no difference. According to the new regulation, a 16-year-old girl who blogs about their ponies has to fulfill the same requirements as a Global Company. The difference is that the global company has lawyers, developers, and many other people who spend hours, days, and weeks getting their website ready. But the 16-year-old one doesn’t have weather the time, the knowledge, or the skills to know everything about this topic. What happens (and for sure it will happen) when this law comes to power and those “special” lawyers will start to sue exactly those kinds of people? What chance do these kinds of people have to defend themselves? They won’t have one because they are violating the law given. So for that kind of people is the only option to get free advice from someone who has the skills or to shut down their blog or webpage. So, in the end, the good reason for regulating the power of Facebook and Google can lead to some sort of censorship because only skilled users can allow themselves to run their websites. I’m quite sure that this is NOT the intention of having the World Wide Web. It was created for providing content, and information and to share.
Empower the user instead of forcing the content provider to study law.
So instead of putting pressure on the provider of content, it would be much more useful to empower the user. Giving him/her the power to decide whether he/she wants to prevent being measured and tracked or not? Why not develop an Add-On for every browser that protects the user from being tracked? Solutions for that are already in place that just need to be modified. Solutions like Ghostery for instance. In the past Ad-Blockers faced some heavy criticism for being “corrupt” or let’s say protected from advertising as long as no company pays to get “whitelisted”. This can´t be the way as well… But an Add-On that blocks without any whitelisting would give the power back to the user. Such Add-Ons could be easily developed and spread, whether they would be directly implemented into the browser itself from the start or could be installed afterward. This would protect the user much more than putting more and more regulations and pressure on the companies. In return, the companies can decide whether they go for it and provide their services without the analytics part or they can block such users. Content blockers are already used on multiple sites like here in Germany on Bild.de If you have an active ad-blocker installed, you see this screen:
But the newspaper still offers you its content if you are willing to pay for it. With this practice, you can leave the decision up to the people….block the site and be safe from tracking, or get the (mostly) free content and “pay” for it by being tracked and measured. This would put so much pressure on the people who didn’t study law but still want to enrich the web with their content and at the same time, it would protect the people on the web. It´s still way easier to install an Add-On (I´m quite sure that even teenagers are able to install them on their PC or mobile) than getting people empowered to fulfill all those regulations that are currently in power and the ones that will come up in the future.