#1: Instapaper pushes pause


TL;DR: Instapaper is shutting down 'temporarily' in Europe with less than 24 hours notice.

In the middle of the European night, Instapaper announced that it would shut down and block EU customers "temporarily" until their GDPR compliance is sorted out, whatever that means.

I have so many questions that they refuse (or are unable) to answer, presumably because they are required to stay quiet by lawyer-type folks. I'm very curious about:

  1. Why did you send out this email the dead of the night for most European timezones, with just hours until the block was to be made effective?
  2. What are you doing that is so hard to fix, or disclose, that requires this move?
  3. Why are you not communicating with your customers about this properly?
  4. Why is Pinterest remaining silent about this?

By the way: Instapaper does say you can export your data at any time, even with the block in place, but hasn't given a time or day it expects the service to come back, which doesn't make me optimistic about its future.

"Starting tomorrow May 24, 2018, access to the Instapaper service will be temporarily unavailable for residents in Europe as we continue to make changes in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25, 2018. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we intend to restore access as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about your account, would like us to generate an export of your saves, or want to check in on our progress, please let us know at [email protected]. We look forward to having the same Instapaper service you know and love accessible in Europe in the very near future. Thanks for your patience."



This project was a crazy idea by @ow after getting so many crappy GDPR emails and shutdown notices. I write a handy daily briefing to keep up with, and understand these kinds of things.

Submit a GDPR horror story of your own on Twitter, or emailing [email protected]

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