Oh GDPR, what have you done!

Dear Reader,

As you might have heard by now, the UK will very soon be under the new GDPR legislation that places some very strict rules about data handling, consent, privacy etc.

In practice it means that websites and blogs like mine will have to be very open about how we store and use data that you, dear reader, give us, as well as respond to requests to rectify or remove data, have policies for data storage and use… the list goes on.

I am all for this, I’m a fierce believer in the value of privacy and I hate the way many organisations are building up huge reams of data on us all in order to monetise us.  I have never sold or shared any of the data I get from this website, but what I can’t be sure of is what happens to data that passes through the various apps, WordPress plugins, cookies etc that are part of this blog, but not controlled or run by me.

As of today, there are conflicting pieces of advice and various scare stories whizzing around the inter webs in regards to what website owners and bloggers need to do.  Some better than others.

It’s confusing, it’s a headache and I haven’t got the time to work it all out around the demands of, you know, actually living my life.

So for now, in order to be much more compliant in the simplest and easiest way for me, I’m going to take a few drastic steps.  I wanted to let you know these steps to avoid any shock.

Over the next few days I will be deleting my Mailchimp account and mailing list that I use to contact subscribers. I will then hold no data from this list.  I will also be turning off blog comments and deleting all of the old ones.  Now this hurts me a lot as there were some great insights from all of you, but I can’t see a way to keep them and remain compliant, bearing in mind they have your email address, etc, all of which are personally identifiable information.  Again, with no comments archive, I will have no data to manage, and worry about.

I might at a later date start using a new subscription or comment system, but only if it doesn’t come with a massive admin responsibility for me, which I haven’t got time for. I don’t want this blog to be a one-sided conversation as I value the feedback that good comments provide. I don’t yet know how to crack this issue, but I will find a way. Before that is in place though, I would welcome any comments via email (see below)

If you are on my mailing list, as an interim solution I would recommend you either subscribe to the rss feed of the blog, or else set up an IFTTT recipe to email you when new posts are made.

And if you would like to keep in touch or feedback anything, you can always email me at: mail [at] alastair johnston [dot] co [dot] uk

As this blog is a self-hosted WordPress installation, there might even be issues with plugins, site statistics and so on.  I’m sure all of these issues will have a solution eventually, but again I’m not sure if I have the time or inclination to sort them all out.  One easier solution may be that I either transfer the content of this blog to something I code myself, or start afresh somewhere new. I’ll keep you informed either way.

TLDR: There may be some odd changes happening here, so please bear with me as I find an elegant solution. The mailing list is going. Blog comments will probably be deleted soon.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Update to GDPR

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