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GDPR Compliance & What This Means For You

As someone who runs a website, there are often things that come out of left field that force me to comply with regulations or new laws. Last year, this included me updating my website to SSL and switching over to a new platform for sending emails. This year, I have GDPR to comply with.

If you haven't heard of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) then you're probably not in the EU. Since I have people who visit my website from the EU and I have EU citizens on my update email list, I now have to comply with GDPR rules as of May 25th. I have a few weeks to get everything up and running to compliance, but I wanted to communicate what I will be doing on this site and with my update email list.

  1. I will be putting a cookie acceptance pop-over on the website. I hate pop-overs, honestly. I had one on my website for a long time, and I got rid of it last year because I thought it was just annoying. Hopefully, my cookie acceptance pop-over is not too intrusive and will go away once people accept.
  2. I will be updating my privacy policy. I don't do a lot behind the scenes here on my website, but you should know about it. I track visits with both Google Analytics and StatCounter, I use Disqus for comments, and I have the Facebook Pixel installed. Plus, I store email addresses and names with the MailPoet plugin which I use to email subscribers when I have new posts. That's about it.
  3. THIS IS THE BIG ONE. I will be emailing those people who I'm pretty sure are in the EU (because my old data from MailChimp is still available to me) and I will be asking their consent to stay on my list. Consent MUST be given to stay. Anyone who doesn't give consent will be deleted. I will ALSO be sending this to people who don't open my emails in an effort to decrease my liability for emailing them. This is because my new email plugin, MailPoet, doesn't store IP addresses and therefore doesn't know where you live. So, if you are the type of person who only reads my email updates in “preview” mode or doesn't load images, you will probably hear from me. I don't like doing this, but I have to. And from here on out, I hope to never have to re-engage my list again. MailPoet is planning on releasing tools to help me with all of this, but they aren't ready yet. I hope to do this campaign in late April, early May.

And that's about it. Every other experience on my website should stay the same. As you know, my website and blog are the cornerstone of my business as an author, especially now that I'm not running a traditional newsletter anymore. I don't make a lot of money doing this gig, so making sure I comply with stuff like this is important. Please feel free to drop any questions in the comments or via my contact page if you have any concerns.

S. J. Pajonas