I’m sure you’ve received them too. Friend requests from sexy bikini clad women who suddenly wants to be your friend. Or maybe you’ve received a friend request from a smiling man from Nigeria, who desperately wants to be your friend, so that you can help him with some money transfers?
The superlatives and positive messages about the Norwegian user group’s (ISBG) launch of IBM/Notes Domino V10 in Norway yesterday has been pouring in all morning. As the leader of ISBG, this makes me immensely happy. And it gives bright hope for the future, and we will use this momentum when we’ve now started preparing for the spring seminar. Read on to see what happened at the launch!
I’m sure you have received them too. Tons of annoying emails where companies or organisations are explaining to you how they value your privacy, and that because of the new GDPR directive from the EU, they are asking for your consent to continue sending you emails.
Yes, there is a new directive that will soon be put into action. The original date was on May 25th, but it’s now been postponed until June. However there was most likely no need for the company to send you an email asking for your consent. In fact, these emails are most likely illegal and a violation of both GDPR and privacy rules that already are in effect!
In an article in the Guardian, Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, says that businesses are not required to ask for your consent. They already have your consent because of the existing 1998 Act, which was made in preparation for GDPR.
Also: Consent is just one of the six legal grounds under GDPR. The others are contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public interest and legitimate interests.
In addition, recital 171 of the GDPR makes it clear that you can continue to rely on any existing consent that they already had from you, which you gave them by signing up in the first place. There is absolutely no reason to ask for your consent again. All an organisation has to do is to make sure the consent met the GDPR standard, and that they are properly documented.
In short: You have received tons of unnecessary annoying emails for no reason other than a lot of consultants wanted to make a shitload of money by preying on the misguided fear that companies could be fined insane amounts of money. Naturally these companies wanted to cover their asses.
Not only that, but by emailing you these GDPR emails, the sender will most likely be breaching the rules set by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which makes it an offense to email someone to ask them for consent to send them marketing by email!
To quote Vitale: “If the business really does lack the necessary consent to communicate with you, it probably lacks the consent even to email you to ask you to give it that consent.”
On the positive side, if you just ignore these emails and don’t click on any of the links in them, you will not receive more annoying marketing emails from the companies that sent them to you…
Yesterday I got another «Hi, this is Fucker Fuckerson from Microsoft Security calling” call. They had even managed to fake a Norwegian cell phone number this time, which is the only reason I replied. (I never reply to call from abroad anymore. If people outside of Norway wants to get hold of me, they have to send me an email, or message me via one of the many online services I’m on. Once I was called from abroad and they asked “Is this Hogne?” Unfortunately, I replied “yes” and they recorded it and used it as a verification that I had said yes to a lot of services, which I was then was charged for via my phone bill).
However, back to yesterday: I realised it was a fake call when he said he was from Miscrosoft (remember, Microsoft would never ever make an unsolicited call to tell you that your computer is infected). Unfortunately for him I was in a bad mood for other reasons already, so I decided to hurt the fucker. Here’s what I did:
I played along. After he told me my computer was infected, I went “oh no” and confirmed that I would sit down at my computer and let him connect to my computer and help me fix it. What I instead did was sitting down with my trusty old Imac and I started looking through my sound effects library for one particular sound.
You see, I make movies and radio programs, so I have an extensive library of great sound effects. A lot of those are made by yours truly. I was looking for a sound that is a combination of an old modem, a Norwegian civil defence siren (with a higher pitch than usual), a dentist drill sound and nails being scraped along a school chalk board. In short: Sounds that really hurt the ear.
I found the sound, loaded it into my music player, turned the volume of my subwoofer powered speakers to 9, put on my noise cancelling head phones for protection, held the phone as close to my speakers as I could, and turned the sound on.
Even with my noise cancelling headphones my ears hurt. But it didn’t matter. The scream I heard coming from the other end of the phone line was worth it.