If there's one thing I've learned from receiving what feels like a bazillion GDPR-related emails this week, it's that companies hold onto my data for aaaaages and there are plenty that I don't want to hear from. Now I have the opportunity to purge. Silver lining?
There's the company I used a decade ago to ship a box to someone who has long left my friendship circle. The retreat organiser who I emailed when I had the grand (and short-lived) plan of writing a book in my late twenties. The luxury property developer who sponsored a handbag launch party I uncomfortably went to and whose duplex penthouses I will never afford. Come to think of it, I didn't get an email from the handbag company. Maybe it's because they're Malaysia headquartered and haven't yet realised GDPR has an extra-territorial effect too.
I can go on and on. Most emails (often unnecessarily) follow the tone of, "If we don't hear from you, we have to remove you from our list and you'll never hear from us again." It's akin to the dream breakup response from a toxic lover really, isn't it?
Some emails are taking a humorous approach. Jeremy Corbyn's birthday is this weekend and apparently he'd be quite miffed if I didn't want to stay in touch with the Labour Party. Others are resorting to bribery; I got a discount voucher for a massage, hurray! Some companies clearly haven't sought legal advice and have sent emails that are nonsensical copy and paste jobs.
Through all of this, I have also learned how much stamina my colleagues have and the importance of our work. Our 100+ data protection specialists have been working round the clock making sure clients are GDPR ready. 25th May 2018 felt like it would never come, but here it is. From trainees to partners, everyone has shown stellar commitment and true team spirit and I commend them.
So this GDPR eve, make sure you leave out a glass of milk for the EU Commissioner, and a glass of wine for your lawyer (preferably with the rest of the bottle to polish off over the weekend).
Exasperated customers have taken to the internet to poke fun at businesses scrambling to comply with new EU data protection laws. Firms across the continent have been spamming subscribers to ask their explicit permission to keep emailing them, as per the incoming GDPR legislation.