Blocking online access doesn’t get you off the GDPR or PoPI hook

For some of America’s biggest newspapers and online services, it’s easier to block half a billion people from accessing your product than comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The New York Daily News are just some telling visitors that, “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.”
“Denying service to EU citizens does not absolve them of their responsibilities,” says Julian Saunders, chief executive officer of Port, a U.K. startup selling software that helps clients control who gets access to data and creates audit trails to monitor privacy. “They still hold data on EU citizens and therefore they are required to comply and respond to subject access requests like everyone else.”
Lawmakers in Europe this week restated its inflexible stance on corporate data responsibility — part of the reason some services have decided shutting up shop for EU citizens, even temporarily, is the lesser of two evils. The other being potential fines of up to 4 percent of their global annual revenue.

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