You might have noticed that you’ve been getting a lot of emails from companies about updated terms of service, privacy policies, and maybe even asking you to confirm you want to be subscribed to their emails. That’s because of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new set of rules that effectively tighten the rules about what can and cannot be done with a person’s personal information. It doesn’t come into force until 25th May, but I’ve enjoyed a rocky journey with it already.
I’m all about privacy
I’m a private person. That doesn’t mean I don’t share; once you get me going, I’m happy to tell you all sorts about me, especially the embarrassing stuff! But I have clear lines around what I will and will not share. I expect people to respect that and, therefore, I respect that the lines other people draw around their lives will be different from mine.
So learning that GDPR would protect people’s personal information wasn’t just my cup of tea, it was the chocolate biscuit on the side too. Until I learnt that…
GDPR will cost me money
I’ve been using two services, Instafreebie and Bookfunnel, to deliver a free copy of The Fey Man to people who sign up to my email newsletter. Both of these services charge me, which is fair enough. But it turns out that everyone who signed up will have to confirm they still want to receive emails from me. Some of them will have only wanted a free book, so that means they won’t confirm; I’ll lose subscribers to GDPR, and that means I’ll lose some of the money I paid to Instafreebie and Bookfunnel. I don’t have a huge amount of cash to spare, so losing it in this way really hurts my ability to market my books.
On top of this, I know plenty of writers who aren’t bothering with GDPR. They think they’re too small to be picked up by regulators and, to be honest, they’re probably right. So I won’t lie; an evil little voice in the back of my mind suggested I shouldn’t bother with GDPR either.
GDPR isn’t about me. It’s about you.
Ignoring GDPR would mean I would be disrespecting your privacy, and your right to control how your who, how, and why your personal information is used. If I can’t respect my readers, why should I expect anyone to respect me?
Anyone who has subscribed to my email newsletter has given me the honour of using their personal information in order to contact them. And having subscribers is a privilege, not a right. I’m grateful to any of my readers who remain subscribed, and I’ll work hard to make sure they look forward to my emails.
So I’m going all in on GDPR.
Everyone who is already subscribed to my email newsletter will need to confirm their consent to keep receiving emails. Anyone who doesn’t confirm that they want to receive emails from me will be unsubscribed come 25th May. (They’ll get an email about this with a big button to press.)
And anyone who has any questions about how I use their personal information, or wants me to change how I use theirs but can’t find the link/button/gizmo to change it themselves, can contact me directly.
Everyone’s a winner with GDPR
My readers now (hopefully) know that I respect their privacy and their information more than my own desires. And I’ve gained a new respect for having subscribers, which will push me to make my emails even better than before!
P.S. If you want the full details on GDPR, the official website contains everything you could possibly want to know (and more besides!).