So About Those Privacy Policy and GDPR Emails...


What Is This GDPR All About?

As a regular person, you are probably getting lots of email from companies you know - or don't know - telling you they updated their Privacy Policy, or are asking you to opt-in to continue following their newsletters.

As a business owner, you are probably getting email alerts from companies you pay services for or use to run your business, such as MailChimp, Squarespace, Typepad, Google Analytics, Recurly, PayPal, MindBody, and many others.

A huge law was created in the EU back in 2016 that demands major protections for people from companies who collect their personal information on the Internet and use it in some way. That law gave everyone 2 years to comply, and the Big Day of Compliance starts tomorrow, Friday, May 25, 2018. Even though it was created for people in the EU, it applies to businesses everywhere who may have clients or readers in the EU. Plus, laws like this tend to be mimicked later on by other countries years later, like the US.

Where Should You Start?

Maybe you have started complying already. If you work at a large company with a legal department and IT team, you have probably been at this for two years. If you're an attorney, you're probably well versed in what different companies need to do to be in compliance.

If you're neither of those, you're going to need to start reading, and we have a few recommendations for you. Businesses who need to pay close attention to this are those who do things like:

  • Accept money over the internet.
  • Collect email addresses into a list or lists and then email those lists.
  • Move an email list from one place to another, like from a shopping cart to a newsletter program.
  • Target people by using a 3rd party Internet program that "profiles" people by watching their behavior on your website or newsletters, and reporting back on what readers or customers did or didn't do, and how you can market to them in a most exact way.
  • Use marketing tools like "pixels" from other websites like Facebook or Google Analytics to better understand what people are doing on your website, or to re-market to them.
  • And lots of other things. These are only a few.

Start at the Very Beginning

We like to start at the very beginning. With the actual law. You can find that here (thanks goes to my cousin Will Hellmuth who is an attorney with Davis Write and Tremaine LLP who sent this link:

That firm wrote a great guide that gives a helpful overview of GDPR prep:
"Time To Update Your Privacy Policy for GDPR"

MailChimp, who many of you use for sending newsletters, has also provided helpful information from their legal counsel:
"New MailChimp Tools to Help With GDPR"

Listen to the Articles!

This is all a lot to read. So we recommend listening! Have your Firefox browser read it to you. Install this new plug-in from Firefox, and with the click of a button, a lady will read a web page to you. Wash dishes. Fold laundry. Go fishing. Knit something. So helpful!

Bring your membership beyond this article, and subscribe to our Community Membership Level 1. You'll be able to connect with other Tin Shingle Members in our Private Facebook Group and forums we call "The Boards."

You can upgrade or downgrade at any time, so if you're ramping up your PR efforts and want Media Contacts, or if you want to stream all of the TuneUps for free, you can do these things - on your terms.

First Response to Mark Zuckerberg's Testimoniy: Facebook's Problems Will Persist

Many thoughts are percolating after Mark Zuckerberg's historic first testimony yesterday before a House Committee. I'm preparing Tin Shingle's TuneUp on a Facebook Backup Plan for marketers and business owners, but below are my thoughts as first published to my own friends on Facebook, as I also prepare to scale way back on emotional moments I put into Facebook, and the photos of my family that I plan to remove:

Mark Zuckerberg’s Achilles Heel is that he thinks that data and the computing of that data can solve everything. He has a developer’s mind with a brain that works very much like a database, and that landscape is what he understands. When presented with the question today of if Facebook is a Tech company or a Publishing company, he picked Tech (I’m not even sure what “tech” means because all tech produces something outside of itself).

Facebook is a publishing company. People self-publish. There is no filter. No editor. Aside from a very few admins of groups, and still, selection is then up to their ethics and positions on censorship and filtering for good health.

Then, there are machine editors in the algorithms, and that circles back to data. Facebook is a publishing company. People publish to it largely uncensored. People become cannibals of their own minds by beating themselves up in their own minds, and beating each other up outwardly - but silently - semi-privately - on groups - or people’s pages or business pages. Facebook lets people become social cannibals, destroying each other. Even the good ones get inward and throw stones. Zuckerberg started Facebook as a place to rate people’s “hotness”. It started as a judgement zone. It remains so.

Businesses who are on to disseminate information are siphoned by Facebook and need to pay to play. But even those rules are skewed, and the people who want to see our businesses can’t when they want to. Unless they dig into Facebook settings to require that they see the information first. Same for friends and family.

I don’t see Facebook’s problems getting solved anytime soon because Zuckerberg is too database/computer driven, and not thoughtful enough. He has a responsibility as a publisher. He’s hands off, but he’s the enabler. Sheryl Sandberg is not empathetic enough to understand either. She learns with life experience, sadly, like the lesson she learned about bereavement leave when her husband passed. And Zuckerberg will too when his child gets addicted to Facebook or videos or to headlines the way all of us have. And then Zuckerberg will understand. But not until then. His choices, in the meantime, while well-meaning, are not ones I trust.

Don’t get me started on listening speakers. All I can tell you is - don’t let a talking speaker in your home. From any of them. Amazon. Facebook. Google. It’s an open listening device that can be tapped into, or more of your words sold for advertising and retargeting to market to you. Smart, machine-based marketing, but lazy marketing that trades on privacy currency.