May 12, 2018 | Filed under: business008
No, of course it isn’t, that law was a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time, millions of peoples time, and continues to be, every day, as we all click on patronizing messages telling us what we already know. Its just one level above the dumbness of a warning saying “DANGER THIS SITE USES HTML”. It was a typical dumb techno-illiterate law passed by bureaucrats who didn’t even understand what they were trying to fix.
Thankfully they would never make the same mistake twice right?
Enter the GDPR, a new astonishingly useless piece of EU legislation that has resulted in the largest torrent of spam in my inbox since the invention of gmail. Suddenly everyone who I have ever had an account with has to spam me to ask me if they can continue emailing me, assuming that somehow I am incapable of hitting ‘send to spam’ and thus have NO WAY to control spam other than this clunky law of the EU. The GDPR has, as usual created a ton of work for everyone who runs a business with an online component (this is 2018 so that means everyone on the planet), whilst achieving absolutely fuck-all.
Essentially, the EU are looking at scandals like Cambridge Analytica and political social media manipulation and…. grasping at the nearest thing they have to ‘an internet privacy thing’ and passing that, without it having ANY impact whatsoever on the actual problem (which is mostly fake news), whilst taking a wrecking ball to the idea of personalized advertising. I’m going to spell out in one sentence why this is dumb as hell:
Personalized advertising to reach genuinely interested customers is awesome. Personalized advertising aimed at undermining democracy is entirely different.
Why can’t lawmakers understand this? Trying to equate deeply targetted, niche advertising with political manipulation is completely dumb. Knowing that I’m a 48 year old white English male who drives a car, lives in a rural location, likes star wars, plays video games and works as a programmer enabled the ads I see to be relevant to me. Show me an advert for a new electric car thats in my price range… i’m genuinely interested. Show me an advert for a new virtual reality headset and I’m interested, show me an advert for baby clothes and I’m not fucking interested. Show me an advert for ladies bicycles and I’m not fucking interested.
We have learned many years ago that advertising is annoying because 95% of the time it was being shown to the wrong person. We are finally escaping that situation, with ads being shown much more in line with the genuine interests of the viewer. If you are over 65 I don#t WANT to bother you with my video game ads. If you only play FIFA, I don’t WANT to bother you with my strategy PC game ads. By ensuring advertisers have no access to personalized information, you make advertising WORSE.
The solution to true scandals like the whole trump/brexit/cambridge analytica scandal is simple. You ban political ads on social media. We already ban them on British TV, we can easily pass a law that bans them on facebook. Thats fine, easy, simple, and it does not require us to take the entire advertising industry, attempt to wreck it AND at the same time make the experience WORSE for both advertisers and consumers.
Simply put, the people who think they will solve political advertising with GDPR are idiots. Its the wrong method, aimed at the wrong target, by people who have no idea how the modern ad market works. Its also hilarious to think Russian state-sponsored bot networks are going to comply with the GDPR. I voted to remain in the EU, but every time they pull something like this, they make the whole system look like a bunch of idiots.
I have a cold, I may seem grumpier than usual :D