The new General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR – is coming into force on Friday 25 May. But we’re sure you already know that, from the mountain of plaintive messages clogging up your inbox at the moment.
In case you’re one of those rare beings who never ever checks their emails, the GDPR is an EU regulation, and constitutes a massive privacy shake-up that will force companies to look at how they hold people’s personal data.
A slew of high-profile privacy breaches - and the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal in particular - has made many of us more conscious of how our data is stored and used.
One of the changes under GDPR means that, whereas before you could remain on a mailing list for all eternity, you now need to actively opt in if you want to continue receiving relentless spam... er, we mean valuable updates.
Which means that for the last month or so, we’ve all been getting endless emails from online shops or business we’ve interacted with, pleading with us to opt in to their mailing lists.
Funnily enough, a lot of companies are emailing just to let people know they've become GDPR compliant - the result of cautious lawyers being uber-keen to keep their organisations on the right side of the GDPR.
Ironically, GDPR emails are now their own type of increasingly desperate spam.
But what’s funnier is seeing all of the memes. The companies behind all those begging emails have been rather unflatteringly likened to…
‘The Irritating Gentleman’
US president Donald Trump
Lord of the Rings baddie Saruman
And, erm, Prince William (sorry Wills)
Even Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw has been given the GDPR meme treatment.
Plus, is anyone actually opting in? Because there’s something really satisfying about just ignoring the GDPR emails.
And people have been sharing the best emails they’ve been sent.
Not even Nineties rock legends are safe from the new GDPR laws.
We guess the name “GDPR” does have a sing-songy quality to it…
Although, of course, not everyone can join in the GDPR fun.
So we can all find something to be happy about this GDPR Day – even if it’s just that we’ll finally see the back of those emails from e-card websites we’ve been getting for the last 15 years.
Ultimately, it will be a joyous occasion for all*.
*Apart from small businesses, for whom this is all a bit of a headache.
This article was originally published on 24 May 2018.