Burning the Midnight Oil

Last night I was up past midnight making sure the site is GDPR compliant.  This is a set of privacy regulations that the European Union has imposed on websites that have visitors from the EU (which is pretty much every site on the planet). While this site doesn’t specifically market to the EU, it does get occasional visits from those in the EU, so even though I’m located in the United States, I have to comply with the GDPR or risk severe expensive penalties.

The deadline to have everything in place is May 25, 2018 so a lot of website managers are scrambling right now.

The problem withe the GDPR is that it was created primarily with huge sites in mind, like Facebook and Google which store tons of data on their users.  Those big fines are meant for them.

The new rules require that visitors or users of websites be informed of what cookies are used on the site, if any, and that the site have a detailed privacy policy in place, consent forms, the ability for users to request any data sites have collected from them, and the ability for users to delete their data.  There’s also a whole bunch of other stuff to comply with.

I think these are all good things because, well, most of know that Facebook and Google have more information on us than our mothers.  I want the ability to control what data such sites have on me and I want the ability to delete any data they have collected.

So those are good things.

What’s difficult for sites like this one in which I don’t have an army of attorneys or a dedicated IP expert in place, I have to rely on interpreting the rules myself and hope I’m doing everything right.

What I’ve done:

  • New Privacy Policy covering how cookies are used, what data is stored and why, etc.
  • Updated WordPress to the latest version which is GDPR compliant (users can request a copy of their data and/or request that it be deleted)
  • All forms in which data is collected (user registration, contact form, newsletters) require explicit consent
  • And yeah, that popup on the bottom of the page that shows to first-time visitors – you’re going to be seeing this on pretty much every site you visit from now on.

I was working through some other issues on the site too, since it was loading slowly yesterday.  The site is about to the point where I”m going to have to bump it up to bigger hosting plan again to accommodate more visitors.

The site is also using a better cache program to ensure the site loads faster.

This is all the part of the business that I don’t particularly like spending my time on but it’s all necessary and I take your privacy seriously.

Bare with me as I continue to finely tune the site and provide a better user experience for visitors.