You may have noticed in the past few weeks that rando tech companies are suddenly obsessed with you and keep emailing you about their “updated privacy policies.” Look, I once live tweeted my trip to the gynecologist, so I kind of feel like I’ve surrendered any sense of privacy in my life at this point, but apparently these updates are “important” and I should “be more careful.” If you’re like me, you saw this influx of boring emails and treated them like any voicemail you’ve ever received by simply ignoring and/or deleting them immediately. I get it, but turns out these emails contain some crucial info that we should be paying attention to. There’s nothing worse than information that requires our attention, but this is the world we live in, folks. I would never put you through the pain of reading an entire email, so I’ll break down what these emails are for you. You’re welcome, I’m a hero, etc.
Why TF Are You Receiving These Emails?
After it became clear that Facebook was giving our data away all willy-nilly, the European Union recently implemented a law called the General Data Protection Regulation that is meant to help protect digital privacy rights. Way to show off, Europe. Like, we get it, you aren’t led by a giant Cheeto Puff in a suit and are passing laws that actually make sense. La-tee-da. Anyway, because the internet is used globally, a lot of companies are required to apply this new law, even to its non-European users. So also like, thank you, Europe.
WTF Is In These Emails?
This new law requires that companies get your consent to collect your data, and that you are only required to share data that the company needs in order to provide their services. Big year for consent. Anyway, these emails you’ve been getting on the reg often have sneaky lil’ lines like “your continued use of the service will be considered acceptance of our updated terms,” which is literally the most fratboy way of going about consent. Not cute. So, essentially these companies are relying on the assumption that you won’t read their emails, and will therefore “give consent” for them to keep collecting your secrets. This feels a lot like when my roommate knows I’m not paying attention to what she’s saying when I’m watching Riverdale so she asks me if I’ll clean the bathroom, knowing full well I’ll just nod yes in order to get her to STFU.
WTF Should You Do About All This BS?
With this new law, a lot of these companies have to give you the option to opt out of handing over your data. You can go to the privacy setting section of all of your apps and chose to turn your data off. You can also view what data of yours these apps have, which is v terrifying. I looked at the data my Twitter had collected about my “interests,” and I’ve never felt so exposed (Jersey Shore was one of them). Take control of your life and deny these companies from having a field day with your private info. Sorry, that was dramatic, let me try again: take control of one tiny, meaningless part of your life and go press a button. K bye!
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