Instapaper, the online bookmarking service, is to block users in Europe and cease trading in the European Union in response to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will formally come into force on Friday.
EU access to Instapaper will be stopped today, ahead of the implementation of GDPR. In a missive to users, Instapaper gave just 24 hours notice of its plans, but claimed that the closure would be temporary. Outside of the EU, the site will continue as normal.
Instapaper was founded in 2008 and acquired by Pinterest in 2016. However, it has continued to be run with minimal interference from its parent since the acquisition.
It claimed that while it would be ‘going dark' in Europe on Thursday, it would return just as soon as it could be sure that it is GDPR compliant - at least for users in Europe.
Holy crap, Instapaper is basically going dark in Europe with < 24 hours notice because GDPR. 🙅♀️ pic.twitter.com/JNQzzxOsiE— ⚡️ Owen (@ow) May 23, 2018
However, Instapaper's rival Pocket, owned by the Mozilla Foundation, isn't struggling under the same GDPR issues, The Inquirer reports.
It follows Unroll.me, the online email management service, which has already thrown up rudimentary GDPR barriers in front of visitors from countries in the European Union. Unroll.me is a free service that scans users' email in-boxes for signs of spam and promises to make it easier for its users to unsubscribe from unwanted email.
However, it was embroiled in a data-collection scandal last year when it was found to be selling user data to third parties. Although it apologised profusely to users, together with a "We can, and will, do better" mea culpa from the CEO, its withdrawal from the EU indicates that it would still struggle to achieve compliance under its current business practices.
The challenge for many non-EU companies with GDPR is that it is extra-territorial in ambition, aiming to cover EU citizens and the processing of their data anywhere in the world, not just in the EU.
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