Thanks, GDPR, for not letting me get any work done this week

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Earlier on this FriYay, I Facebooked the following:

I’m sorry but I won’t be in the office today because I have to read 529 emails with everyone’s updated privacy policies.

Of course I didn’t not go to the office because I have to check all these emails and I didn’t even get that many. #snark BUT: Stop ? the emails, pretty please. Respect my privacy. Ha. ?

There certainly was an onslaught of privacy-related emails-probably because of the new GDPR regulation

GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, is regulating privacy rules in Europe and maybe we should have something similar in the USA.

Privacy, of course, has been on many people’s mind with the recent Mark Zuckerberg Facebook testimony in front of Congress in the United States.

And while some people have deleted their Facebook accounts, it was also reported that Facebook had a financially good quarter. So things aren’t as bad after all.

Also, I wouldn’t delete my Facebook account for the time being because social media and other digital channels-including the ones that are free have helped me connect with people and it would be much harder to connect with them without these channels.

But anyway, all this week I’ve been getting a ton of email from every website, network and other service that I’ve ever used. All are sending me their updated privacy policies – which apparently I’m supposed to read.

Of course, I spent hours studying them all to determine whether or not I should use the sites going forward. Of course I didn’t do that. Nobody does that. Because it’s way too much work.

And, some of those sites I haven’t used in forever and didn’t even know I had an account on. Could y’all use the data you have on me to know I don’t use your service, maybe? Did I agree to that, by any chance?

So, if the consumers out there-including myself-don’t read the privacy policies that all these free networks make us agree to how much room do we have to complain when our data is used for who knows what?

Of course, the answer is that we CAN complain about whatever we want (see my kids – #dadlife) but the reality of things is that the way we pay for free networks and channels out there is through our data.

Interestingly, some of the companies that emailed me also recently had privacy leaks. All of them also included some words of how important they think our privacy is. That’s pretty standard marketing talk, I guess.

“Your privacy is my top concern as long as I can still use your data enough to make me money.”

But seriously, does everyone have to send the email on the same date at the same time to fill up my inbox with very similar messages?

Couldn’t somebody – not sure who, I’m just the ideas guy-write a universal privacy policy and then companies can use that and have people agree to it once? Instead of having 5,239 versions of similar things?

Plus, how many privacy policies by companies that make money off our data are actually written in a way to be mostly beneficial to the consumer?

Related: Check out my book on how to be customer centric

The one thing that we have to remember as consumers is that hardly anything is free out there and if we’re not paying with money we’re paying with something else. For me, I decided many years ago that I will treat anything I post on social media as public-even when my privacy settings are set to friends-only. It’s just easier.

For those of you reading my blog by email-which the rest of you can sign up to do here– I’m sorry I’m adding yet another email to your inbox for the day. On the bright side, at least it’s not another one about terms and policies.

Note: This is obviously a tongue in cheek post for the most part – other than the consumer advice. All likeness to actual people is not intended to pick on any actual ones.