Great Danes Provide Ribena

Thank the internet gods GDPR kicks in tomorrow.

I’ve had more emails over the last week, cluttering up my inbox, than I’ve had in ages. All of them telling me I don’t have to do anything because I clearly want to stay on whatever mailing list it is that I’m on.

Whereas, I don’t.

I know that the majority of things I get emails for I voluntarily signed up for, but I don’t actually read them. In fact, I probably only read about 5% of my emails. The rest are all nonsense.

And this GDPR thing has got everyone scurrying to make sure everyone understands the changes to their privacy policy. “Please stay,” they all say, “and we promise we won’t show anyone else our data. We used to just bandy it about left, right and centre before, but it turns out that you lot out there in the real world aren’t really down with that sort of thing. You’re a bit pissed off if you receive an email from an entirely unrelated third-party who we thought, one night down the pub, that you might like to hear from.”

I spent some time today, while I was waiting for my team to arrive to play a room, just wading through all the emails. So many people. So many new privacy policies. I’ve read, as of this exact moment, exactly the same number of new privacy policies as I read when I first appeared on these mailing lists.

Which is to say, none.

Because I watched a woman on the news tonight point out that no-one’s quite sure how this whole thing is going to be monitored. Everyone’s had to do it. Anyone with a mailing list has had to get rid of the list or jump through numerous hoops to be able to keep emailing people. But there’s not actually any sort of system in place to monitor it. Apart from, obviously, constantly moaning about it on Facebook and Twitter. Probably with an accompanying hashtag.

I’ve had emails from people I have never had emails from in the past. I have never received a single email from them, at all, ever. But I once used their services for something. And they’re having to email me to tell me that they won’t be emailing me in the future. Or the past. Just this one time, in the present.

The one good thing about it all, though, is that I might finally be able to lay my dad’s email account to rest. Or at least enjoy the silence. Since he passed away I have been unsubscribing to all manner of things. I mean, he used to get newsletters from somewhere that sold lightbulbs.  I’ve been able to kill off most of it. But some still carry on. George Clooney, tanked up on coffee, keeps sending Nespresso emails. All the bloody time. Nespresso has so many free gifts and offers. So, so many. I hope that goes away now.

I also sort of hope that all the emails my mum gets from Harvey’s of Halifax dry up. My mum doesn’t even use email. She barely used it before her stroke. Now she can’t see enough of it to use. But she gets an email every other day from Harvey’s (the “front” for what is essentially the Halifax Town Centre mafia) about some offer on shoes. And they all come to me. And I never tell her about them. Lord knows she doesn’t need any help to unnecessarily buy shoes.

Hopefully once we reach tomorrow all that will stop.

Silence will befall the inboxes.

Happy days.