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> But the fact that many American newspapers, for example, are blocked in Europe is certainly something to worry about.

They are not blocked. They have chosen to take their services offline because they don’t think changing their business model such that it no longer depends on aggressively tracking their users is worthwhile or cost-effective. Which is fine by me imho.






You must understand the economics. Newspapers have zero cash on hand these days, so their choice was to fire staff to allocate money for GDPR or not. Seeing how staff is at a minimum, that was the practical option. Result is equivalent to censorship. I'm surprised you don't find this a terrible outcome.

> Result is equivalent to censorship.

I don't agree that if a business chooses not to operate in a country, because it's unwilling to spend the money required to comply with the country's laws, that that is equivalent to censorship.

Another person's personal information is not protected speech.


I always viewed it as a transaction--go to the news site and read the news, in exchange they will sell data on what articles you're reading, etc.

I was fine with that transaction. In fact, I would rather have them sell my data instead of charging money.

Consumers have a choice on whether or not they want to go to these sites, it's not like they are forced to give away their personal information to news sites.

I would say the GDPR blocking news sites is a net negative because it denies consumers the choice to read news stories.


> I always viewed it as a transaction--go to the news site and read the news, in exchange they will sell data on what articles you're reading, etc.

And I always thought (back in my more naïve days) that I read the site in exchange for being advertised to. Point being, the exact details of the transaction were never shown to the visitors. GDPR fixes that by forcing companies to state the terms of this transaction explicitly, and actually ask the visitors if they're willing to participate in it.

GDPR isn't blocking any sites, it's only disallowing a very particular way of getting users to give up their data and then monetizing that data. Nobody is entitled to their business model working forever, and some companies prefer to shut off a large segment of their market instead of updating their business model. It's their choice.


Agree. There are ways to protect your data if that’s important to you. If I walk out in the middle of a freeway I should expect that I might be hit by a car rather — the EU instead says, “let’s ban freeways”.

No, EU says "let's put signs that point to where there are (previously invisible) freeways".* GDPR does not ban any practices, it just says that certain practices need to be communicated to and approved by the people affected by them.

*metaphors can get quite silly


I personally don't think that it is any government's business to regulate a company that is not inside its jurisdiction, I also don't think think it should be their prerogative to stop me from engaging and communicating with one just because they rightfully say that it's not their job to bend the knee to them. As an adult the EU is neither my parent nor my guardian.

>They are not blocked.

Self blocking in response to a law to avoid the penalties under the law is being blocked by the law.


Self-blocking instead of making one's business model compliant with the law is a choice. An alternative would be to update the business model.

That's all there is to it. GDPR isn't banning news sites, or other companies; it's banning a very particular set of antisocial business practices.


You’re muddying the waters. Just because someone doesn’t want to take on the compliance burden does not mean they have an antisocial business practice. What you’re saying does not logically follow.

It does, you just made an illogical connection. I didn't say that companies who self-block must necessarily have antisocial business practices. I only said that GDPR is banning those practices. I also said that companies have a choice between removing themselves from European market or adjusting their business model to be compliant.

> companies have a choice between removing themselves from European market or adjusting their business model to be compliant

The problem isn't only adjusting business models. It's proving you've adjusted your business model to twenty-eight EU regulators. If one of them misbehaves, you now have to wage a legal fight in a foreign jurisdiction. Against those costs and risks is a minimum required revenue. If that revenue doesn't exist, it doesn't make sense to serve that market. Regardless of your business model.


So if a law gives you a choice in how you choose to censor a work of literature, would it be the artist's self censoring and not an act of government censorship? Assuming we applied the same logic.



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