GDPR and the IndieWeb

The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) // Sebastian Greger by Sebastian Greger (

Given the considerations above, and the GDPR enforcement deadline three weeks away, I decided to at least temporarily remove the Twitter backfeed from my site, delete the personal data accrued in the database, and disable my account (shedding a little tear, as it truly is an ingenious concept and service). While I still believe that my pixelated and de-personalised presentation of the backfeed solved at least most of the ethical issues, I personally don’t want to jump through the hoops of drafting a privacy statement with a shaky argumentation about the lawfulness of storing all that data. At the same time, this releases me from the need to think about how to deal with individuals’ requests as they may execute their rights under the GDPR; it makes this site less social, though – a strong motivation to keep thinking about solutions!

Would love to know Chris's thoughts on this post by Sebastian Gregor.

At first, I thought that Sebastian was misunderstanding the GDPR but as I read further I realized he had done considerably more research than I did. If his conclusions are correct we have a major problem. I don’t solicit comments from EU readers but I do have some regular visitors from Germany, Italy and the UK.

I am not as concerned with privacy. I don’t one can have any expectations of privacy when acting in public. But I don’t want laws written in any country other than the USA to apply to me. Ever!

So I’ve decided to be cautious. I have disabled I will no longer back feed comments from Twitter, Instagram, et. al. My website has had a privacy statement for several years. I’ve kept the Webmentions feature enabled. If you are using Webmentions I will assume you know how and what it is. You’ve either intentionally sent a Webmention from your website or you have intentionally used the form on my website.

I am also considering blocking all access to my website from EU member countries. I think that would basically saying stay out.

I think this sort of thing is an example of the law of unintended consequences. It’s all very stupid when an independent website owner in the USA has to worry about a European law. It’s stupid that I have to remove the ability for commentary. It’s stupid that I have to worry about things that have nothing to do with writing. Stupid.

Copy to IndieWeb News.

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