GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the EU's usual mixed bag of benevolent anti-business fascism. In concept, it isn't horrible. In ambiguity and implementation, it's kinda vile. And should they have the authority? Not in a free world. But even if you think it's a great idea, passing huge laws with highly ambiguous terms, high fines and a single drop-dead date, is kind of a recipe for disaster. People that don't want to take on that liability, will run (just block Europe). Only large corporations can afford the huge investments and can handle the legal risks associated with fighting hostile governments. But Europeans rarely think things through, or there wouldn't be an EU in the first place. (All ways that ends are bad). One year later, guess what happened? It helped Big Tech, and disadvantaged the smaller guys with burdensome compliance costs? Who knew? Just everyone with a clue. (Eurocrats need no apply).
If the EU were responsible adults, they might have phased it in, and tried to be clearer about what constitutes penalty worthy ambiguity. (Right now, its a bit of a "we will know it when we see it" sort of thing). But what company wants to deal with the risk of some jack-booted dominatrix wannabe by the name of Andrea Jelinek, being able to mete out fines for up to 4 percent of worldwide annual sales? And based on some interviews and her snarky, "Fuck the rich" responses, she seems almost eager to build a reputation as an Elizabeth Warren man-and-business-hating wannabe.
So if you're big tech: you were targeted because EU's entrepreneur crushing taxes and regulations had guaranteed that all big innovations were created outside the EU, so now they want to smack them for being successful, and tell them how to run their business. And big tech will comply. It's medium and small tech that won't take the legal risks of fingers crossed that the EU won't get you, until case law settles what bad regulation didn't.
Eventually, this will get worked out. But if the EU had been more responsible, it wouldn't be so up in the air, and they wouldn't have as many short term disruptions. They might have even trusted transparency and the free market and a less heavy hand, if they
But correcting a progressive on their bad implementations of questionable ideas, usually ends you socially ostracized and attacked (at best), and in re-education camps or the ovens (at worst). So suffice it to say that while this is incompetently implemented, it probably won't be THAT disruptive, once the kinks they created, get worked out.
Sadly, many Europeans will blame the companies instead of the regulators. And that's how the Nazis rose to power.
1 Year Review
1 year in, and guess what happened: big tech used AI/ML, Facial Recognition and other techniques to get around the unenforced rules. While the smaller guys are unable to compete. That's what bureaucratic victory looks like: higher burdens of entry, less competition, and non-enforcement or selective enforcement of the law. Woo hoo! Thanks for that.