Free Minds & Free Markets

The Many Messes Made by Europe’s New Online Privacy Regulations: New at Reason

E-mail spam, online censorship, and the GDPR may actually increase your exposure to scams and frauds.

Web censorshipM-sur / Dreamstime.comWell, that didn't take long. The European Union's long-awaited (and commercially dreaded) privacy regulations, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have already begun wreaking havoc online.

Before the rules took effect on May 25, commentators had warned that the GDPR would consolidate power in the hands of market titans while confusing businesses about what exactly the regulations require. Indeed, early signs show that Facebook and Google, despite the threat of fines, are the big regulatory market winners. And EU bureaucrats themselves don't seem to know what "compliance" really looks like.

But the GDPR has caused chaos in more unexpected ways also. Andrea O'Sullivan documents just a few of the head-scratching unintended consequences that the GDPR has wrought across the globe.

Photo Credit: M-sur /


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online