If you thought the GDPR didn't apply to you because you weren't in Europe, think again. Techcunch and other sites are reporting that Instapaper, which is owned by Pinterest and based in San Francisco, is temporarily cutting off users in the EU so that the company can develop new policies and procedures to comply with GDPR, the EU's new privacy regulation.
Here's Instapaper's announcement:
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.
The new regulations take effect tomorrow. No one knows why Instapaper took such an extreme step, but they are not the only one. Over on Twitter I read about one company that disabled features on its smart lightbulbs because its tech violated GDPR rules, and there are several reports of companies that have found the cost of compliance to be so high that they'd rather abandon the EU as a market - or even worse, they are shutting down completely.
Instapaper is most likely withdrawing from the EU because of the GDPR requirements on storing and accessing user data. Users have the right under the GDPR to request the data a company has on them, and if the company doesn't comply that means huge fines.
Instapaper has probably found that they cannot comply with the new rules by tomorrow, when they take effect, and so it has no other option than to temporarily cut off users.