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We are now in the middle game of GDPR. Companies whose business model depends on tracking users essentially have now an illegal business model, because practically no user will give informed consent when they are offered the same service without consenting.

So what can these - now shady - companies do? They probe the limits of the law, and try to keep their business model alive as long as they can. We need to wait and see. In my opinion, the most probable development is that European data protection agencies will start to hand out fines. Of course, the shady companies will fight them in court, and of course, they will lose. Then they will retreat a step, and try again with a little bit less intrusion into the user's privacy. Over time, courts will rule, and fines will increase, until the shady companies will give up in EU.

Then EU will essentially become free of tracking networks. It might take a few years, but I think the intermediate annoyance is worth it.

> Then EU will essentially become free of tracking networks. It might take a few years, but I think the intermediate annoyance is worth it.

I don't disagree with you but I think it is more likely that these companies will just not let EU peoples use their sites at all.

One BIG fine (and you know they're salivating at the prospect of getting multi-billions out of Google and/or FB) and doing business in the EU becomes too much of a gamble for a company to justify the risks.

Some will choose to adjust practices, others might choose to block the EU. If they're happy to lose that many users, as they think tracking is more important, would that be so terrible?

It might even encourage some more ethical alternatives, or some real attempts to solve micropayments.

It really depends on how heavy handed they get in their enforcement actions.

Everyone knows that FB and Google are expending serious resources to be in compliance yet they will more likely than not get some large fines anyway because politics. I doubt they will ever leave the EU but other, smaller, companies will not have the resources to throw at the problem so will be effectively locked out of the EU market.

It's probably in Google's best interest to pay a couple billion euro fine (to scare off the smaller fish) in order to lock in their de facto advertising monopoly.

I already encounter EU blocked sites almost daily. It would get much worse.

And yes, I do consider it terrible that my nanny state government decided what is best for me, over some hysterical fears about tracking. I don’t give a damn. I don’t consider tracking of me in the way the browser can do actual personal information.

I’m OK with a strict regime for actual personal information, like name+address, heck, even spam data like phone and email, but extending that to tracking cookies, at the enormous cost in usability we’re already seeing, is ridiculous.

I hope they do pull out of the EU. That would be one of the biggest business opportunities in history for privacy-respecting companies to fill the void that was left.

You’re be the first in line (if you even are in the EU) to bitch about loosing all that free content you can access now.

That is a desirable outcome too, because copycats will then start in EU, and citizens of all countries will prefer to use their tracking-free services instead of the tracking ones.

> So what can these - now shady - companies do?

As it looks to me, they are responding back by trying to push through articles 11 and 13 so that they can then all switch to paywalls. A paywall for a news company is practically useless as the internet currently stands as any major story 1 makes gets linked to and paraphrased by dozens of other news agencies within minutes. Why would users pay for a news website when they can get practically the same thing at a free one that did not work to come up with the story. And article 13 is to prevent 1 user who does pay for a website from copying the entire article and pasting it in a comment (I see that and archive/outline links all the time here and on reddit).

Oh, I so hope you're right!

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