GDPR latest: People’s homes stop working as new data rules devolve into chaos

GDPR is leaving people in the dark

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 25 May 2018 16:47 BST
Este invento es universalmente acreditado a Thomas Edison
Este invento es universalmente acreditado a Thomas Edison (Getty Images)

The chaos surrounding the roll out of new Europe-wide data laws has reached people’s homes, with various internet-connected light bulbs and other devices failing to function on Friday.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, which came into effect in the UK and Europe on 25 May, seek to protect the digital rights of EU citizens through stricter data laws and greater oversight of how companies manage people's personal information.

Customers have reported companies contacting them with updated terms of use, which need to be agreed before they are able to use smart thermostats, smart doors and smart appliances.

One Chinese smart device manufacturer, Yeelight, sent a message to users that its light bulbs no longer functioned properly as a result of GDPR compliance.

"According to GDPR, we will not be able to continue to provide this service to you," the message stated.

Individual light bulbs were still functional if they were switched on one at a time, but no other features.

Failure to adequately prepare for the introduction of GDPR resulted in several major news websites being unavailable to visitors in the EU.

"Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries," states a message greeting visitors to The LA Times.

"We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism."

Major technology companies may also have fallen foul of the new laws, with Facebook and Google accused of violating the data regulations.

"The fact that complaints have already been filed against some of the world’s largest tech companies show that the regulation is clearly designed to underpin the right to privacy. For too long companies have tried to ignore GDPR; now the rubber is hitting the road, and it’s already seriously costing those who aren’t ready," David Smith, head of GDPR technology at data firm SAS told The Independent in an email.

“This is just the first wave. Any company that has anything to do with EU consumers must get its data and processes in order now."

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