From Razer to Yeelight, Instapaper and Unroll.me: More services go dark across the UK as companies miss GDPR deadline
There is a growing number so sites and services that have gone offline this week after their parent companies failed to adhere to today’s GDPR deadline.
Instapaper, the popular bookmarking tool owned by Pinterest, has temporarily shutt off access to European users while it continues to adjust to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into effect on 25 May and fundamentally changes the way companies can handle your personal data.
With big fines on the table for non-compliance, Instapaper has made the move to effectively go dark in Europe. An email was sent to users in the EU giving them less than 24 hours notice that the shutdown would be happening. In the email, first brought to light by freelance marketer Owen William via 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 (GDPR) which goes into effect May 25, 2018,” the email reads.
“We apologise for any inconvenience, and we intend to restore access as soon as possible.
“If you have any questions about your account, would like us to generate an export of your saves, or want to check in on our progress, please let us know at email@example.com. We look forward to having the same Instapaper service you know and love accessible in Europe in the very near future. Thanks for your patience.”
Given that companies have had two years to prepare for GDPR, pulling the plug with one day’s notice isn’t a great look for the read-it-later app. The company has refused to go into specifics about what aspect of the regulation has held it up, although The Verge has made a guess about it being related to the GDPR’s data subject access request. The regulation allows users to request a copy of all data stored about them by a company, which can be a complex task if a comprehensive system for storing and managing information isn’t in place.
That issue may be compounded by the fact Instapaper is owned by Pinterest, and it isn’t clear how data about user’s reading habits on the former is held and used by the latter. With fines amounting to 4% of global turnover or €20 million (whichever is larger), the company is shutting down until it has everything in order.
Email unsubscription service Unroll.me has also said it will be temporarily withdrawing its service from EU users, admitting it will not complete efforts to comply with GDPR by Friday’s deadline.
There have also been reports that smart home company Yeelight is withdrawing service from users in the EU completely. A tweet from @internetofshit shows a screenshot of a notification from the company, which reads: “According to GDPR, we will not be able to continue to provide this service to you.” Alphr has reached out to Yeelight for clarification.
And Yeelight isn’t alone, Razer’s own GDPR message said: “Effective 25 May 2018, all versions of our software and services that do not meet the GDPR regulations will be retired and no longer be usable or valid. This means you may not be able to log in to legacy versions of software and services such as Razer Synapse 2.0.” This effectively means that certain Razer mice will stop working because of GDPR, as will, potentially, the Razer phone.
One that will likely affect fewer paying customers than those above, but is a worrying addition nonetheless, is the Chicago Tribune – the website for the American newspaper.
If someone from the EU attempts to access the site, the following message appears: “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”
Many of these service changes, plus others, are being outlined here in the GDPR Wall of Shame.