19 May
2018

Fiddling While the Planet Burns

Amongst the hundreds of spurious emails flying around about GDPR came one today from the Green Party. It proudly announced that “GDPR legislation was championed by Green MEPs”.

For heaven’s sake, or at least the world’s, sake what were they thinking of?

The Green Party go on to say that this “gives YOU more control over your data.” I love that capitalised “YOU”. Nasty shouty people ramming stuff down my throat. What the change in the regulations has actually achieved is an unholy alliance of IT Managers and Legal Advisors trying to justify their existence by bamboozling the organisations they work for into sending thousands (nay millions, for sure) of spurious and confusing emails around the interweb.

Then the marketing side of the business leap on the bandwagon with sales riding shotgun and the content of all these emails becomes a masterclass in naff marketing. The GPs “YOU” is about the least patronising example flying around.

This farrago puts the various PPI scams in the shade in sheer quantity of bullshit. There are a few sensible organisations who have ignored it all on the basis that they already know who they are talking to and those people are quite content.

Some have used the opportunity to write to all their contacts telling them that they needn’t bother to do anything. This gets slightly annoying as you have to read their guff to determine if they want you to click a link or do something or not.

Mostly however are the fools who have bought the pig in a poke from their legal/IT/marketing departments and send out demands and pleas to press a button or click a link. Often on a daily basis.

The amazing thing is that I haven’t yet spotted any genuine scammers getting in on the act and using the opportunity for a little social engineering to harvest no end of passwords and other useful titbits. Come on guys – just send one of your emails spoofing a genuine organisation with the link to “stay in touch” taking the punter to a page asking for them to confirm their email and password (and maybe bank pin code while they are at it).

Worst of all are the idiots who are sending out these spurious emails with the link to click masked behind some obscure url quite unrelated to their proper web address and with the email coming from a “no-reply” address. These are people I will be quite happy to never here from again so they get ignored.

The rest get a standard reply:

To whom it may concern,

Please excuse the impersonal medium of a form letter but since you recently sent one of several hundred emails to this address panicking about some trivial change in regulations you will appreciate that it is easier to send this automated response than dealing with them individually.

If you have been sending marketing circulars to this address with a clear (and simple and working) unsubscribe link at the end then you may continue to do so. If I did not want them I would have unsubscribed, and when I find them tedious I will do so.

If you have been sending me specific personal emails about our mutual relationship because I have an account with you or conduct business with you then of course you may continue to do so.

If you have been sending general emails without a functional unsubscribe link then I probably haven’t seen them as they will have gone straight into the junk pile. I will be happy never to hear from you again.

Yours

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