16.05.2021

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

A last-minute flurry of emails from companies trying to retain customers ahead of the deadline for Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has prompted a slew of complaints – and memes – on social media.

Friday is the last day for companies to comply with GDPR regulations and as a result, inboxes around the world are clogging up with emails warnings that “the privacy policy has changed” and pleas to “just click here so we can stay in touch”.

The whole process has inspired the internet to rope in everyone from Julian Assange to Donald Trump to Prince William in an attempt to illustrate their frustration at the electronic onslaught.

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Cirque du SoLame
(@_Katenip)

DO YOU STILL WANT TO GET OUR EMAILS AFTER GDPR TAKES EFFECT? pic.twitter.com/oyx65FHNTC

May 23, 2018

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Mark Gillies
(@5goalthriller)

DO YOU STILL WANT TO GET MY EMAILS AFTER GDPR TAKES EFFECT? pic.twitter.com/I82jjIPKLo

May 23, 2018

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Declan Cashin-Chalamet-Porowski-B.Jordan
(@Tweet_Dec)

DO YOU STILL WANT TO GET MY EMAILS AFTER GDPR TAKES EFFECT pic.twitter.com/BuchzIh1zB

May 23, 2018

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Mnrrnt & 200 others
(@Mnrrnt)

DO YOU STILL WANT TO GET OUR EMAILS AFTER GDPR TAKES EFFECT? pic.twitter.com/zNVFMRRAqM

May 23, 2018

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Mo’
(@mocent0)

When you’re the only person in Britain wishing you could receive emails about GDPR pic.twitter.com/ZEAxbpEKlD

May 23, 2018

The breadth of organisations captured by the new laws surprised some.

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Gareth Milner
(@mrgarethm)

Even Rage Against The Machine has to abide by GDPR. pic.twitter.com/XY7qdToo46

May 23, 2018

Some admired the marketing tactics.

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Alex Wickham
(@WikiGuido)

Labour GDPR email. You will “ruin Jeremy’s birthday” if you don’t sign up. pic.twitter.com/lRXe9yNQzP

May 23, 2018

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Hafsa
(@hafsa_alrifai)

My favourite GDPR email so far pic.twitter.com/K7tFFNsE09

May 23, 2018

While others saw the irony in it.

Alistair Cunningham
(@Cunningham_UK)

Ironic that the GDPR has almost certainly unleashed the biggest torrent of spam in the history of the internet.

May 23, 2018

Earlier this week, the term “GDPR” appeared to be trending higher in Google Search volume than Beyonce.

Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam – and memes

Jason Karaian
(@jkaraian)

GDPR is bigger than Beyoncé https://t.co/KvXvrEDtth pic.twitter.com/rWPtslNayz

May 22, 2018

The new law is a replacement for the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which has until now set the minimum standards for processing data in the EU.

GDPR will significantly strengthen a number of rights: individuals will find themselves with more power to demand companies reveal or delete the personal data they hold; regulators will be able to work in concert across the EU for the first time, rather than having to launch separate actions in each jurisdiction; and their enforcement actions will have real teeth, with the maximum fine now reaching the higher of €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of the company’s global turnover.

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