This is popping up because a European Union set of standards/laws/directive, called General Data Protection Regulation
(GDPR) is going into effect, and is enforceable as of Friday, May 25th, 2018. The policy basically mandates that internet companies don’t get to collect what’s called
personally identifiable information (IP and MAC addresses, physical addresses, the content of your posts, and so on) without the user’s consent to do so, and that the user can revoke consent at any time. As a result, basically every company on the internet, all of whom rely on collecting and selling this information, are updating their terms of services, particularly if they are based in Europe, or understand you to be European.
A big challenge for a lot of these companies is a provision called “Right of Erasure” which means if you revoke consent to
have your data processed by a company, they have to delete that data.
Basically everyone in the industry hates it, but it’s a big win for
consumers, if you’re in the EU, of course.
If you’re outside of the EU, this stuff doesn’t apply to you, but in many cases it’s easier for a firm to change its policies to be GDPR compliant everywhere, or alternatively let everyone know that they have to consent to whatever terms the firm demands if they are to continue using the product.
I hope you don’t mind me putting your tags on here @thefloatingstone but I think they are important.
I work at a company that collects user data. We were already much more conscientious about it than most data companies and we’ve been preparing for GDPR for over six months. This is a very good thing for consumers and a big hassle for Big Data companies who are used to being able to be sloppy and mislead you about how they’re selling your data.