GDPR: Don't forget to bring a towel!

Originally published at:

May 25 is Towel Day, when fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy jokingly adorn a towel and praise the household item as if it prepares the owner for any sticky situation. Author Douglas Adams was a master of these tongue-in-cheek references to our modern existence, helping the reader (and listener) feel as if they might one day walk across their livingroom and into a silly, star-spanning adventure.




As the deadline approaches I’m getting more and more of these.


I’m saving up all the privacy policy emails so that once my renovations are over I can systematically go through all the services I don’t use and request my account be closed and details deleted.

My Facebook account gets nuked in 12 days. Feels good.


“I’d like to inform you about changes to our privacy policy” is the new all-purpose New Yorker cartoon caption. Try it for yourself!


On one level, I do appreciate that the GDPR is going into effect on the anniversary of the People’s Revolution of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May.


BoingBoing still doesn’t offer me an option to personally delete my account . BoingBoing still doesn’t explicitly warn peopl that this is the case before creating an account.

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I’m sure if you emailed they’d delete your account for you.

Not that I’m saying you ought to!

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some years ago the nras (national rheumatoid arthritis society) and I got more than bargained for with a technical question that was bogged down by the unsubscribe button script (long story shortie)

we have to contact all our people

I had to get past imgur’s privacy update to see the potato privacy update cartoon.

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Wait, so is silence consent now, or not?

If I could have fit a lilac reference in without being too clumsy, I would have :slight_smile:


Yeah I thought about uploading that image somewhere else, but I couldn’t figure out the copyright status. I suppose it’s appropriate to see that popup before that meme, though.

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The regulation is quite clear that silence is not consent. What courts determine could very well be another matter, especially with tricky “soft consent” e-mails and international transactions. What complicates this is when a company sends around an e-mail and they already have obtained consent in the past. Or have they? :wink:

One example being criticized is Tumblr’s GDPR messaging, with dozens of boxes that had to be clicked individually.


When the customer wants it, really, no means yes. #maga.

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That is because they do not delete the text contributions you have made here, and agreed to share/cede control of. you did so when you read the terms of service, which you agreed to under what duress now? What trickery?

BoingBoing still doesn’t explicitly warn people that this is the case before creating an account.

They can explain it to you, but they can’t understand it for you.

Most Notably:


By submitting User Content, you grant us an unlimited license to use your content in any way we choose.

What does any this have to to with East Germany? :wink:


…so you’re saying you’re neither Cory with a fake mustache nor that Bloomberg columnist who thought they ruined sharing forever, I suppose.

I went to Yahoo! yesterday (26th May).

I landed instead on a page from Oath advising me that Yahoo! - and associated websites - would be complying with GDPR but first I had to consent to a few terms of access.

Don’t you just love that word ‘consent’?

So anyway, the gist was that if I didn’t ‘consent’, I wouldn’t be able to access Yahoo! or its services ever ever again. Huh. I have email there. So I went to check out these ‘terms of access’ and it turns out they almost entirely consisted of a list of ‘approved’ third-party advert/shitvert/shill-mill/fakenews companies I could (or not) choose to allow harvest my data.

I deselected all except one, and continued to login to my Yahoo! account.

The page immediately went back to the Oath page and advised me that Yahoo! - and associated websites - would be complying with GDPR but first I had to consent to a few terms of access…

Yes, I checked my previous choices and they’d all been reset to ‘approved’.

Fucking Viacom.

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