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Taking a pull-the-plug approach to GDPR compliance

Neil Hodge | June 5, 2018

Given the two-year lead time, few would have guessed that the best way some organisations would comply with the European Union’s stringent new data rules would be to simply cut access to services.

On 25 May, as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, dozens of Websites shut down their activities completely, while others forced users to agree to new terms of service—some by flooding inboxes with e-mails asking people to remain on their mailing lists. Several companies outside of the European Union, however, took the nuclear option to ensure compliance: They blocked all European users from their servers—some temporarily, others permanently.

Tronc Inc., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, and other U.S. newspapers, was among those that blocked readers in the European Union from accessing sites, as they scrambled to comply with the sweeping regulation.

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