This company that sells clothing says it had to stop selling to EU because of GDPR. This image IS their site now, it says: "Blame your government (no, really)".

Really though? It's that hard to sell me clothes while respecting my privacy? You only have to blame yourself on this one 😂

@kingannoy If only it were that simple...most of my clients chose to work toward compliance, but some took this tack. They weren't (and aren't) crazy, and there's nothing wrong with blaming the EU for making this choice. It has consequences - some they'll like (fewer cookies) and some they won't (further neutering the possibility of a European Silicon Valley). This one falls somewhere in between.

@FlyingLawyer
I could understand your argument if we were talking about a company has a reason for handling private data, like say, Fit Bit. And if they said something like: "We got caught with our pants down, we'll be back with you as soon as we figured it out".

Instead it's a company with no excuse for gathering anything but your address, low-key insulting our government. They aren't crazy, they are the target of this law and I love their precious little snowflake response.

@kingannoy I think that's a fair distinction, but I'm not sure it necessarily supports that side of the argument. There's something inherently fair about expecting fitbit or google or facebook to handle personal data in a sophisticated, accountable manner. Should we treat a clothing company the same way? That raises one of GDPR's other unintended consequences; the parties it benefits most are the ones it seeks to constrain (by disproportionately affecting less sophisticated competitors).

@FlyingLawyer
It's as if a physical store would say something like:

"We have to close our store. We can't comply with these health and safety standards and getting our building up to the fire code is just too much effort. So sorry... Blame your government (no really)"

@kingannoy Your basic argument is correct. There are a few wrinkles that you may not fully appreciate. First, it's important to separate liability and preemptive regulation as legal levers. You're absolutely right about the negative externalities that a lack of liability has created for companies in this space, but that doesn't mean you necessarily *also* need to tell the company how to store its data in the first place. This is how products liability works (when it works).

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@kingannoy Second, GDPR requires dramatically more than complying with best practices, especially for foreign companies. It is not as simple as "privacy good, ergo GDPR good." It is *intentionally* vague, requires foreign entities to submit themselves to the personal jurisdiction of European countries (viz a viz the data transfer mechanisms), and in some cases prohibits what local state or federal laws over here require (and the exceptions for legal compliance only covers EU law).

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