Last Update: 5/29/18
While my post today may not be about a mainstream quilting topic, it is a topic that a few quilters have been discussing lately. And, I think is actually worthy of more attention and discussion within our creative communities.
Before I share my insights on this topic, I want to recognize and thank Jocelyn (Happy Cottage Quilter) for raising this topic with me and getting me to give it more serious thought and research.
In all honesty, my initial thoughts about the new EU GDPR data protection regulation which went into effect on 25th of May, was that it doesn’t apply to me because:
- I don’t live in the EU
- I’m a blogger and I don’t sell anything
- There is no way the EU can enforce this WW.
- I also value privacy and have absolutely no intent of selling, or any form of mis-use of personal information from those that may share their info with me.
But then I began to do more research and contemplate what the intent of these new regulations are. Basically, the new EU GDPR, Cookie Regulations, etc., are intended to ensure people that visit your website, regardless of whether you are selling something or not, when they share with you private info (e.g. email info, Name, IP address, etc.) that you do the right thing and keep that information confidential.
Throughout the world, there are various laws and regulations about data privacy. Possibly this topic has raised a higher level of interest, with Facebook’s focus on making money on our personal info and being challenged for their privacy policies. But, I suspect the EU became concerned with data privacy protection of your personal info long before Facebook. They took great lengths to create laws and regulations, which may be focused on protecting those in the EU, when you look at the intent, I can only wish that we had a world wide agency that would manage these type of issues. But today, I want to discuss the GDPR’s new laws and regulations and what they mean for those in the quilting, sewing, embroidery world (regardless if you are in the business, a blogger, or someone that simply shops online and/or follows blogs).
GDPR: On 25th of May 2018, a new European Union (EU) data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), takes effect. The GDPR gives individuals in the EU more control over how their data is used and places certain obligations on businesses that process inormation of those individuals.
The internet is changing and hopefully in a good way. Historically, there have been businesses that always asked if you wanted their cookie (not the chocolate chip kind but the kind where they dropped a cookie on your computer to track some personal information about you. It was nice that they gave you a choice, but most of us will agree that most sites never cared. Well, recently the EU came up with a requirement that made EU companies change their policies and approach and with the recent issues with Facebook, many more companies are now jumping on the bandwagon to create Privacy and Cookie policies about how they use your personal information.
In the true form, the GDPR requires an “opt in” policy, which is why you are probably starting to notice many websites are now asking you to click to read and approve their policies, if not you may by default be dropped from access (e.g. dropped from an email list, access to their site, etc.). When we step back and think about this topic, I think most would agree that online businesses WW really need to adopt this policy, whereby they agree to keep our personal information confidential and not mis-use it. But then the question comes up – Do bloggers need to be concerned about GDPR ? To answer this, let’s step back and ask outselves “what data does a blogger typically capture”?
At a minimum, bloggers that allow email/rss feeds of their posts use tools to capture your name, email address and probably your IP address. We give that info freely, without being reassured they keep such information private.
Bloggers can also use Analytic tools, belong to various Affiliate or Advertisement networks that capture your personal information!
When you adopt such policies you are also sending a message world wide that you value privacy of your data, as well as data of others you are entrusted with. Hopefully the more of us that show such support will help encourage owners of more websites (e.g. businesses, bloggers, etc) to do the right thing too!. Together we can help to start a trend to help increase the safety of the internet.
For those interested in learning more, as well as seeing what others are doing (while trying to not present those that may not be doing anything, or not have done anything yet), I want to share some insights that Jocelyn shared with me which I think can also be quite informative:
- Reading is My Super Power’s Policy
- Patchwork Times – More GDPR insights
- Just Let Me Quilt – has also shared insights about Google Blogger tagging ALL comments as “no-reply bloggers”, in Googles attempt to keep user data protect. Hopefully that will change to an opt-in policy.
Sites with GDPR Policies which I found interesting:
- Note: The CodeInWP blog also has an excellent article on this topic.
- CT Publishing
- Fat Quarter Shop
- She Knows Media
Sites which quilting, sewing & embroidery enthusiasts may visit, and/or such bloggers use, but do not appear to specifically address GDPR:
- Facebook: Has a statement for how GDPR effects advertising on Facebook, but no reference on GDPR with respect to Facebook users.
- Sewing Machines Plus
In addition to the EU GDPR, there are also several other similar initiatives around the world: intiatives by the EDAA (EU), the Network Advertising Initiative (US) and the Digital Advertising Alliance (US), DAAC (Canada), DDAI (Japan) or other similar services. Such initiatives allow Users to select their tracking preferences for most of the advertising tools.
California Privacy Rights
California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits users of the Services who are California residents to request certain information regarding its disclosure of Personal Data to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email with “California Privacy Rights” in the heading to firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at the address listed below.
Bottom line: For bloggers and even many small home based businesses (for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts) I really don’t think you need to worry about the EU GDPR, nor all the concerns about Privacy or Cookie Policies. On the other hand, I do value confidentiality of personal information and I hope you do too! Thus, I want to encourage all bloggers, as well as those in the business, to maintain such personal information with confidentiality, as well as to update your websites by sharing your perspectives (your policies). I anticipate this topic to continue to grow in popularity in the future, as well as policies to evolve. Hopefully we can all do the right thing and not worry about being a silly blogger, or home based business, or even a small business in the world of quilting, sewing or embroidery, that some law or regulation like the EU’s GDPR, one day trying to fine us. I honestly feel this is more of a matter that we all need to do the right thing – honor confidentialty of personal information which we may be entrusted with, ensure our values and policies are stated on our website, as well as encourage those truly in the business to do so too!
As always, I’d love to hear your perspective on this topic. It is not a black & white issue that will be resolved on the 25th of May, 2018. There will always be bad websites out there that will take our personal information and misused it. But hopefully, this will become a movement that will help us improve internet security of our personal information world wide.