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- In today’s Matt Hack, I discuss GDPR and why I think it’s total BS
- It can’t really deliver what it’s promised
- It’s bad for business owners
Hey, this is Matt from autogrow-pro.frb.io, as you may already know. I’m broadcasting to you live from Medellin, Colombia.
I’m getting ready to go back to the States pretty soon, but I wanted to make this video for you talking about GDPR and why I think it’s a big pile of BS. BS, of course, standing for baloney sandwiches.
They say that the road to hell is paved with noble intentions. Well, this law is a pain in the butt. It doesn’t accomplish anything productive.
Allow me to explain:
Why GDPR is BS
I was talking to a friend the other day about GDPR and they said, “You know, I’ve kind of heard about this somewhere and it sounds like a really good thing. It’s going to protect consumers’ credit card information.”
I didn’t correct them when I heard that, but it kind of got me thinking.
As a business owner who has recently had to comply with the new regulations, I have a different take on things.
Everyone, including Autogrow, has had to try to implement change while not impacting conversion rate or sales.
I’ve been seeing a ton of pop-ups on different websites letting me know that they collect cookies. I’m sure you’ve seen them too—they’re really annoying.
All websites collect cookies—we already know that. And if these useless messages are the result of the law, who is it really helping?
From my point of view, it’s just a big inconvenience for business owners.
It Doesn’t Actually Accomplish Anything
The intentions of GDPR were noble. I’ll give it that. But the results are pretty disastrous.
I think it’s just beginning to really annoy people on the internet, and that’s all it’s accomplishing.
First, there will always be a black market for data. Just like there are salespeople who will buy leads, there are marketers who will buy data.
If you don’t believe me, this article from Trend Micro lists the various types of personal data that people buy—and their going rates.
GDPR can’t stop that.
Second, (and I am not a lawyer, so don’t quote me on this) there are easy ways for marketers to get around it. Medium wrote an article back in 2017 addressing some of the loopholes.
For me, there is just one good thing to come out of GDPR. If you email a big company, like Facebook, and you tell them to “forget” your information, they have to do it. That’s my one caveat.
It’s Terrible for Business
As a marketer, or any entrepreneur in general, it has the potential to greatly limit your reach.
As an example, I was checking out UsabilityGeek the other day.
Not to call them out or anything, but this is probably the worst pop-up that I’ve seen.
This is horrible. Don’t do this. It’s just so bad.
They are literally trying to persuade their audience to not let them track anything. At all. Period.
I’m paraphrasing here, but their “recommended settings” essentially say that they won’t use Google Analytics, marketing cookies, a Facebook tracking pixel, or anything.
How are they going to target their ads? Segment their audience? Do anything?
As a marketer, how can you stay in business within those parameters?
This, folks, is what GDPR is forcing people to do.
I’m going to wrap up this opinionated rant, if you will, on GDPR and why I think it’s mostly BS.
Here’s what I recommend you do. Again, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a GDPR expert, but do the bare minimum.
Look at how they phrase things and how they approach the language. Reuse that, or just go talk to a lawyer yourself if you’re really worried about it.
We’re not putting an annoying, crazy pop-up (per the example above) on our website. I recommend that you avoid it as well. It’s just overkill and it’s ridiculous.
To wrap things up:
- Do the minimum required
- Don’t buy email lists
- Don’t opt people in who didn’t ask to be opted in
- Follow common sense—don’t bend over backwards, but don’t knowingly break the law, either
Just do what you need to do, get it done, and don’t go crazy.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Do you think GDPR is BS?
Do you think it’s having the intended result, or do you think it’s just a headache for business owners?
If you liked this Matt Hack, leave a comment and let me know. This one was a little bit different than what I usually do!
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Until then, my name is Matt Ack in the Matt hat delivering you your daily dose of Matt Hacks. Keep hustling. Stay focused. I’ll talk to you soon.