#22: To continue to use Tumblr, please check these 322 boxes

by Owen Williams on

Hey, you know Tumblr, that service that used to be independent, then got acquired by Yahoo which then got acquired by Oath (🤘?), right? I think someone over there basically kicked off a conversation like this, last Monday:


Well yeah, anyway, they got a fancy GDPR consent flow just like that one we saw on Techcrunch last week... except worse. (Note: Techcrunch, Engadget and friends have similar screens because they're all owned by the same company, Oath 🤘)

The difference: Tumblr does not include the blanket opt-out. You have to uncheck each box, one by one. Also there are 322 of them. Also you will have to do it on your iPhone.

The number of people who wrote to me and told me that this thing got them stuck, too long, had Javascript errors, or just plain didn't work was ludicrous, many of whom just slammed accept to get around it (or did so by accident). I assume it was just a bungled rollout, but ouch.

I am sorry about what I'm about to do, but here it is in its full glory thanks to @mia_out (yes, usually it's just a scrollable box):

Just like the Techcrunch one, this is actually the first of two of these screens, but unlike that one, you'll spend your day unchecking them on desktop, then on mobile. Have fun, love Tumblr.

I think you win, Tumblr.


#21: My TV meets GDPR

by Owen Williams on

Wow, I'd not expected my own Internet of Things crud to end up with GDPR, but here we are: my year-old Android TV suddenly got an update last night (four days after the deadline) to add a single feature: a GDPR flow.

The GDPR flow, if anything, made me realize how much my TV already was monitoring in the background. Behold, my nine-step-GDPR-approval program:

Worst of all, I learned about a program called "Samba" that was already on my TV monitoring my behavior and habits.... to show me ads.... without permission. Yup.

The good news is I opted out of almost all of this. The bad news? Uh, the privacy center in the EULA they updated on my TV to adjust the settings later doesn't exist. So, I emailed them on [email protected] to get a data export! I'm so curious what they know about me...

...oh, it looks like their process isn't implemented. This is a hand-crafted email, and sounds sorta clueless. Let's wait and see; I'll update here if and when I hear back, and I've gone ahead and reminded TP-Vision/Philips that they have 30 days or so to comply.

#20: Fridge, meet GDPR

by Owen Williams on


I so want to believe that fridges aren't showing GDPR notices, but this is the world we live in now. If you spot any other devices with these kinds of notices on them, let me know -- I'm most curious about TVs and other smart stuff lying around.

Thanks, @varjag!

#17: Zoom, that isn't how consent works

by Owen Williams on


Yes or yes, even more newsletters!

I'm pretty sure this email isn't compliant even in the first place, but here we are tricking people into getting even more email! The only way to get out of this, ironically, is to do nothing.

Thanks for sending this, Lukas!

#14: You have been terminated

by Owen Williams on

Happy GDPR day!

I have a cracker from the inbox this morning: Unroll.me has blocked users in Europe using what appears to be a baic IP ban.

Unroll.me is a company that isn't exactly known for doing great things with your data, and it's very ready for GDPR: your accounts have been terminated! Bye!

There are so many things wrong with this, it's absurd:

While we do not actively market our service or conduct business in the EU, we find we have a small number of users like you, who reside in the EU and have discovered Unroll.Me, and will be affected by this change.

A small number? Not actively marketed? I've seen banner ads for Unroll.me in the Netherlands. Onward:

As a result, we have temporarily stopped providing service to EU and European Economic Area residents until further notice.

This doesn't absolve you of complying with GDPR.

Our service is completely secure everywhere




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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