occasionally, clicking through yet another half-arsed GDPR-mandated cookie management screen, i find myself thinking "the GDPR has buggered up the web"

then i catch myself.

no, it hasn't. the way companies have opted to respond to the GDPR is what's buggered up the web. they could have been nice and unobtrusive about it, but no, they decided that *every user in the EU* should suffer their protests at not being able to stow thousands of fragments of random shite on a whim all over their vict- sorry, users' computers.


When their entire business model depends on tracking you and selling that data to whoever wants it, it's hard to get them to change.

@anthracite @thamesynne

I still look back with 'fondness' on that site whose GDPR compliance was "if you don't like tracking, you can just disable cookies altogether! 🙃"

I think it was a store, actually

@packbat @anthracite @thamesynne

You know, instead of monkeying about with third-party cookies, there really needs to be a standardized way to tell sites we don't want to be tracked. Get browser vendors to include it as a setting. Maybe call it something like "Do not Track"...

Oh wait, we tried that already, and practically nobody respected it.

@starchturrets @packbat @thamesynne

The fact that you’ve turned on DNT is just one more piece of data to put in your digital fingerprint!

@thamesynne And even now, places like the NYTimes settle for "we use cookies to track everything. Suck it", rather than questioning if they actually *need to do this*.

(And the LA Times just says Sod Off)

@porsupah yeah, i've run into a few websites which are all "for legal reasons we don't let anyone from the EU in" and i'm just like "well thank god it's not a significant market for you or a rather large chunk of the world's wealth and population or anything..." 🤷

@thamesynne @porsupah It's a pretty dire indictment of the media industry that some companies would rather completely deny access to information than operate on a business model that doesn't sell their readership's privacy to the highest bidder.

@thamesynne They also don't even limit those useless informative pop-ups to European users.

@thamesynne yeah. The GDPR says "you can't do this"; companies went "but we want to do this, so we'll make everything waaay more annoying so we can continue to do so despite the law specifically trying to prevent it".

im not even European, and its basically almost every site I go on has a dumb popup that takes up half the page that says "we use cookies to track you, you cant do anything about it"

@starrycosmos @thamesynne they obviously lie, you can do something about it. Get off of that site.

@thamesynne that's the very definition of a dark pattern: turning the user's experience into some horrific steeple chase just to force them to comply to your advertising sh*t out of annoyance and confusion. You are absolutely right, shame on companies who made the worst of it.

@mcpaccard @thamesynne For me it's the same as what happened (happens) with the "cookie banner". Now everyone clicks "ok give me cookies whatever" instead of being informed.

The Web was buggered up.

The GDPR is an attempt to correct some of that buggering.

Change is always messy! 10 years from now, I suspect we'll still have a similar situation to California's infamous Prop 65, which requires all companies to provide a warning if they use any chemicals containing carcinogens. (The law was enacted in 1986, before we really understood that carcinogens are in almost everything.)

Speaking as a dev, the GDPR did a LOT of good besides what's visible. ^^

@thamesynne I think one or two news sites have opted to build a completely JavaScript-free version of their site for EU users and it's such a delight to browse, everything's so fast

@noiob i've seen at least one, and yes, that's a delightful solution to the problem... but it does invite the obvious question ;-)

@thamesynne When I encounter one of those nags, I click on uMatrix and deny all cookies. Then block the element.

@thamesynne wonder if one solution would be to write an add-on that auto-refuses all tracking options in the GDPR-mandated popup and also dismisses the pop-up.

Then when they inevitably change the pop-up to fight off the add-on you can accuse them of making choice difficult.

It'll also make it possible to decline pop-ups that do not allow you to decline (which is against the GDPR).

@polychrome @thamesynne uBlock does a part of that - you can right-click on the popup and choose 'Block element', and that will stop that popup appearing on that site in the future. And since you haven't explicitly opted in to tracking, the site /shouldn't/ have started tracking you (but I'm skeptical about this bit).

Picking the right element can be tricky, and you need to do it once for each site though.

@thamesynne @OpinionatedGeek a growing number of them have the text say "continue to use this site to agree" as the clause, and at least one autoaccepted on my behalf as soon as I scrolled down so this cannot be trusted.

Ofcourse these same sites also tend to only have a "Got it!" button with no way to opt out, regardless of how that's against the GDPA so.

@polychrome @thamesynne Ah. Haven't seen any sites that assume agreement by just using the site, but I'd guessed there'd be some. Maybe there'll be fewer as time goes on and we see some GDPR fines/prosecutions?

I have extensions to block trackers and auto-delete cookies, as well as using uBlock. I'm starting to question how much effort I'm devoting to this...

@thamesynne Hopefully people start a) avoiding those sites and b) complaining over them at their respective authorities a.k.a. suing the corporates.

@thamesynne And that's before you hit the sites that decided it was easier just to not serve anybody in the EU, than to implement policies that respect privacy.

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