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Topic: The comings and goings of the European Union (Read 11820 times)

  • jax
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The comings and goings of the European Union
This thread is about new members entering (e.g. Croatia) and old members leaving (e.g. Britain) the Union, as well as other moves and changes in the European collective collective.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #100
When you consider how Turkey is run and what goes on in it keep it distant.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Belfrager
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #101
hen you consider how Turkey is run and what goes on in it keep it distant.
It seems that you are the ones to keep distant. Finally.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #102
 :D
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ersi
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GDPR
Reply #103
This is probably the most thorough article about GDPR https://www.politico.eu/article/click-yes-if-you-have-read-and-agree/

The EU Commission's alleged aim is,
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"Internet users do not have to click on a banner every time they visit a website," Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip said. "They will be able to make an informed choice."
Let's ignore the fact that Andrus Ansip is the second-most hated politician in Estonia, particularly due to his tendency to get emphatic when he has no clue what he is talking about (that's why we were happy to send him to the EU), and let's just note that the actual effect of prior EU regulation has been the exact opposite. As the article continues,
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When the European Parliament reviewed the e-Privacy Directive in 2009, it included the obligation for companies storing data to have people opt in, rather than opt out. Coders started building banners across websites to comply.

[...]

"People who thought cookie banners were annoying will be disappointed to hear that things won't get better," said Townsend Feehan, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau for Europe, which lobbies for the online advertising industry trading heavily in data gathered through marketing cookies.

"Without significant improvements to the proposed text, users would have to actively change the settings of every single device and app they use, and more actively deal with constant requests for permission for the use of harmless cookies when visiting websites and using other digital services," Feehan said.
And if you live in the EU right now, you have already detected that Mr Feehan was right and Mr Ansip was wrong. Websites present EU citizens with more aggressive popups than ever. It's the way the websites understand their obligations under the GDPR.

Dodge the headache of compliance for all your 3rd-party tracking pixels (pretty much all social platforms and 3rd-party widgets/plugins employ some kind of tracking - the infamous "Like" button is probably the most prolific), by requiring consent by default. That is, for all your visitors, European or otherwise, before any tracking takes place. That way, there are no grey areas and you minimise any risk of getting this wrong - a high risk considering website content is often constantly in flux...

[...]

Essentially, the approach is that you need to create a compliance alert to your users on their first visit. You probably already have such a message already. However, often I find tracking is already taking place as soon as the visitor loads a page from your site - before they have accepted (or not) your offer to track their activity. That of course is wrong.

[...]
Five tips for compliance consent:

1. Keep your compliance alert in place until your visitor takes action to accept it. If accepted the alert is removed. If the visitor takes no action, then your compliance alert remains in place. That is, there is no available action for the visitor to reject the alert.
In other words, to be legally safe, the cookie-feeders understand that they must block everything from the user and present them with a popup up front, before anything else. This would naturally happen when the website does not recognise the visitor, i.e. when the cookies are purged or turned off, the visitor must be slapped with a popup.

This is of course exactly what all advertisers want: To be legally required to advertise, bug, annoy, troll in your face, get your consent before you get to know what they are selling, completely regardless if you are even shopping for anything.

Thanks again, EU. Likely there is no easy way to redirect all my devices to appear to be outside the EU, but I am actively looking for a way now. You have paralysed my ability to work and I am forced to fix this before it gets too critical.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #104
Likewise, you have a far greater user group trying to VPN themselves into Europe.

Opt-in, much like freedom and democracy, is great in theory, but easily subvertible and subverted in practice. I was sceptical about GDPR initially, but it does seem to be a game-changer. By far not sufficient, but it will make some abuses very much not cost-effective. 

There is an absolutely obscene sub-industry based on the repackaging of personal data. Commonly 10% of a web site is pushing content to you, and 90% pushing you to these ad brokers. Where there is profit there is a way, but they will have to work harder for it in the future.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #105
Likewise, you have a far greater user group trying to VPN themselves into Europe.
Why? Because they want to enjoy the circus a little bit? Probably to find some euros to scam from here and there by making people click things evermore.

It cannot be in order to get some useful work done, because GDPR took that away.

Opt-in, much like freedom and democracy, is great in theory, but easily subvertible and subverted in practice.
By what flip of logic do you call it an opt-in when you are presented with a barrier with one single option? What sort of opt-in is it? And how in hell can you compare it to freedom and democracy? I have given you too much benefit of the doubt.

There is an absolutely obscene sub-industry based on the repackaging of personal data. Commonly 10% of a web site is pushing content to you, and 90% pushing you to these ad brokers. Where there is profit there is a way, but they will have to work harder for it in the future.
False. Work on their end did not change one bit. Work on my end was already done - I flatly refuse all cookies, unless I need to log in. Now my work has become impossible, because there are demands for me to enable cookies at every turn.

And you have the balls to say this is freedom and democracy. No. My freedom on the internet has been entirely removed.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #106
I was sceptical about GDPR initially, but it does seem to be a game-changer. By far not sufficient, but it will make some abuses very much not cost-effective.
Can you name some abuse that ceases to be cost effective now?

The way I see it: I used to have a right to refuse cookies. This right was taken away with the cookie directive. Occasionally, when trying to get rid of some above-average nasty banner, I thought "Can this get any worse?" The answer: Of course! When the EU politicians come together, discuss things through with the internet giants and when they sincerely try, yes, they will find a foolproof way to make things worse for everyone!

What they did is legally required abuse!

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #107
By what flip of logic do you call it an opt-in when you are presented with a barrier with one single option? What sort of opt-in is it? And how in hell can you compare it to freedom and democracy? I have given you too much benefit of the doubt.
I'm of the opinion that tracking walls are almost certainly illegal under the GDPR. See e.g. https://pagefair.com/blog/2017/tracking-walls We'll have to wait and see what happens, I suppose.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #108
I'm of the opinion that tracking walls are almost certainly illegal under the GDPR.
So you agree with Commissar Ansip's presentation on the subject.

To be sure, I would be happy if it were so. However, leaving aside all the bad things I know about Ansip, there are bad things to be noted that preceded GDPR. Namely, the cookie directive (e-privacy regulation) directly erected the walls and you cannot get rid of them unless you accept. Far from being illegal, walls were the aim and the plan under the regulation.

And Brian Clifton, who is apparently some cookie expert, interprets GDPR as a straightforward extension of the cookie directive - erect more walls more aggressively. Reality happens to align with this interpretation.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #109
It looks like he's not advocating for a tracking wall per se, like effectively on geenstijl, which is what I was referring to, but for its annoying little brother:
Quote
The trick is to make the alert "irritating" and "distracting" enough for the visitor to want to take action, but ultimately you cannot stop the user accessing your content if they do not.

I deliberately emphasize irritating and distracting as you must give a strong reason for the user to take action - accept to be tracked. Otherwise you risk large swathes of visitors simply ignoring your alert and continuing to browse your content regardless i.e. you lose a large amount of visitor data!
I would say that's against the spirit of it all but of course there's a large gray zone of acceptability.

He also explicitly agrees with what I intended (and perhaps "Commissar Ansip") in the comments:
Quote
BTW, you are not allowed to block access to your content if a visitor does not consent. My analogy is from bricks and mortar retail stores - a store owner cannot stop someone visiting a store just because they don't like the look of them. That is called discrimination and is illegal in the EU.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #110
Right now, at least Forbes.com, Latimes.com, and everybody related to Oath Group (includes Endgadget, TechCrunch, and HuffPost) block EU visitors. Block as in block - you have no access. Bypassing with VPN they work as usual.

But I think even the earlier cookie popup deserves to be called a wall. Because it is a barrier. The effect of the GDPR is that it amplified the barriers.

  • krake
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #111
I flatly refuse all cookies, unless I need to log in. Now my work has become impossible, because there are demands for me to enable cookies at every turn.
One might wonder what this has to do with EU regulations.
There were sites since ages which didn't deliver content if you had cookies disabled. So they are now.
BTW, in private mode browsing, no data will be stored on your HD.

Right now, at least Forbes.com, Latimes.com, and everybody related to Oath Group (includes Endgadget, TechCrunch, and HuffPost) block EU visitors. Block as in block - you have no access.
Forbes.com, engadget.com, techcrunch.com and huffingtonpost.com are displaying fine with my German IP. Tested right now.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #112
One might wonder what this has to do with EU regulations.
There were sites since ages which didn't deliver content if you had cookies disabled. So they are now.
If the EU so desperately wants to regulate, they could regulate sensibly, such as force such sites to drop their insistence on cookies. Instead, they regulated the opposite: Make everybody insist on cookies.

Forbes.com, engadget.com, techcrunch.com and huffingtonpost.com are displaying fine with my German IP. Tested right now.
They are displaying what fine?

Since the turn of the week
- Forbes.com redirects to https://www.forbes.com/consent/?toURL=https://forbes.com/ which reads "We want you to experience the full power of Forbes.com, but we need your consent to continue..."
- Latimes.com redirects to http://www.tronc.com/gdpr/latimes.com/ which reads "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism."
- Those others redirect to https://guce.oath.com/collectConsent?brandType=nonEu&.done=https[etc] which reads "... Due to EU data protection laws..."

And the first two are implemented by some hardcore means that cannot be bypassed by simply turning javascript off.

If you are unaffected, then either you are really not using an EU IP or your country has managed to negotiate some exceptions to itself vis-a-vis the US. Not surprised either way. The EU regulations are just for suckers like the Baltic countries.
  • Last Edit: 2018-05-30, 18:36:33 by ersi

  • krake
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #113
Well, it's a German IP of a German ISP.
AFAIK Germany is still part of the EU. I'm not aware of a silent Dexit. :)

As for the Baltic states, I thought they are together with the Ukraine and Poland the closest European allies of the US.

BTW, I assume you don't try to access Forbes with an exotic text based browser. ;)

I've attached two pics.
From the first one you can see that I'm correctly identified as an EU visitor.
First I get redirected to Forbes Europe. However there is no problem switching to the US site as shown in the second pic.

first pic
second pic

  • rjhowie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #114
A passing thought on Ukraine. The place is a mess hole and corrupt as proverbial hell. As a Glasgow man i would be groaning if I was forced to live in Edinburgh but even that better than living in that place!  :D
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #115
Well, it's a German IP of a German ISP.
AFAIK Germany is still part of the EU. I'm not aware of a silent Dexit. :)

As for the Baltic states, I thought they are together with the Ukraine and Poland the closest European allies of the US.
This only shows that, as I always knew, there is no equality and no fairness in the EU. And much less of it can be expected from the US.

BTW, I assume you don't try to access Forbes with an exotic text based browser. ;)
You assume false. When I can't get there with one thing, but I need to, then I will try with another thing and another. I have tried text-based browsers - I go there for news articles after all, not for pics.

For me, only VPN works so that I place myself in Asia. It didn't occur to me to try Germany.

I've attached two pics.
From the first one you can see that I'm correctly identified as an EU visitor.
First I get redirected to Forbes Europe. However there is no problem switching to the US site as shown in the second pic.
Good for you. That EU countries are treated differently only makes this nonsense more nonsensical. The GDPR failed completely even before it started. Eurocommissars should disband.

To clarify: Of course I get to the same page as you after clicking on two (!) OK's, but my point is that no OK's should be needed. Those aggressive acknowledgement demands were not there prior to the GDPR.

I do it for work, not for pleasure. My work, physically, consists of clicking on things. I try my best to minimise and optimise it. The GDPR has massively multiplied my work, made it physically impossible. Privacy is not really a concern for me. The number of clicks is very much a concern.

They are not opt-in's. An opt-in is coupled with an opt-out&continue. It's an unjustified barrier with one single option: sign under. It should not be there at all. I have no reason to sign anything when I am not subscribing, just looking at supposedly free unrestricted content.

If the alleged aim of the GDPR was to improve privacy, then it of course failed massively, just like the cookie directive before it. Privacy would be improved by allowing people to set the cookies OFF in their browsers, while the browsing experience should remain the same: No popups, no redirects. What the cookie directive did was bombard everyone with popups to accept cookies (i.e. loudly insist on worsening your privacy) even if you had them already enabled to accept absolutely everything.

I'm generously giving eurocommissars a benefit of the doubt. I assume they know what they are doing (except Commissar Ansip; he never has any personal initiative and thus no personal responsibility; he only does what he's been told). They know that they are not improving any privacy at all. They are simply lying about the privacy. The real aim is different. Perhaps it's a social experiment on how much crap the EU citizens can take. Because the cookie directive was deemed too mild an experiment - everybody swallowed it without any official complaint. The crap, in my case, is the number of clicks. This was increased with the cookie directive and now with the GDPR it massively exploded.
  • Last Edit: 2018-05-31, 05:57:31 by ersi

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #116
I don't think companies set out to be evil, most of them anyway.

However, the more private information you harvest, the higher your stock price will be, and this has been driving the obnoxious developments the last 15 years. Few companies are in the harvesting business, but wittingly or unwittingly they outsource that to ad brokers, a small part of the whole harvest-for-cash ecosystem. That there are no real reprisals for abuse or negligence adds to the destructiveness of the system. This highly fluid network is like a dark, thorny, malevolent forest. It's not sentient, but behaves as it almost could be. Earlier legalisation tried to prune some thorns. That didn't work. GDPR tries to, we don't know yet how well it will succeed, to attack sources of sustenance, abuse shall not be profitable, and the forest will adapt. Hopefully it will become a little less dark, a little less nasty.

In each and every web/app design office it will be the usual battle between greed (managers wanting ad income), fear (lawyers don't wanting company to be sued), and laziness (do as little as possible). This will go several rounds.



  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #117
I don't think companies set out to be evil, most of them anyway.
Do you really think so even when your next paragraph completely disproves it? You describe a vicious, completely evil, circle, which I happen to agree with. The more justified idea is that every for-profit company harbours a seed of evil in their heart.

Profit is evil. But livelihood is a necessity and ordinary business should be conducted as per nature of livelihood. Profit is and remains evil.

And this little stray statement is curious,
Earlier legalisation tried to prune some thorns.
Did you mean legislation or legalisation? They are different things, as you well know. Legislation is to give some thing a scope, framework, or structure. Legalisation is to allow or permit the thing.

Legalisation does not try to prune some thorns. Legalisation permits thorns to do whatever it is that thorns do. The cookie directive did just that. The GDPR upped the free rein of banners, popups, splashes, and redirects exponentially. At least this is the observable effect.

In each and every web/app design office it will be the usual battle between greed (managers wanting ad income), fear (lawyers don't wanting company to be sued), and laziness (do as little as possible). This will go several rounds.
I agree that this is how the world tends to operate, but this is not how it should be. In addition to businesses with employers and employees, there is also the state bureacracy that should moderate business relations. Greed is evil, so it should be squished, not fomented. But the GDPR foments greed.

Advertising, getting their commercial message out, is the religion of for-profit businesses. They want to sell their thing regardless if anyone needs it or not. This is evil because it's directed at profit, beyond the nature of livelihood. It's evil because it disregards ordinary everyman's relationships and replaces them with commercial relationships.

A little analogy to help things along. It's my everyman's right to walk in a public space and to see whatever is placed there. Internet is such a public space. Commercially oriented websites want me to buy stuff or at least to click on specific things, which is approximately the equivalent to placing signs outside their shops. The signs are on a public space, they tend to block your steps, they also block your view in some directions to some extent, so the placement of the signs is or should be regulated. They should not disturb ordinary traffic too much.

The cookie directive demands cookie popups, creating barriers to normal traffic. In the above analogy, the cookie directive is equivalent to a legal regulation that says, "Every shop MUST put a sign outside their doorstep."

My faith is crumbling, but I am still trying to believe that you are a reasonable guy who somewhat comprehends that shops in fact WANT to put their signs out in the public space. Because they are greedy. The effect of the cookie directive was to not regulate those signs, not to moderate, but to legalise them without restriction, to give them free rein, ultimately fomenting greed.

The GDPR makes the same thing worse. The GDPR had been negotiated years ago with FB, G, MS, etc., so the GDPR is not a response to e.g. the recent scandal with Cambridge Analytica, or to Google tacitly admitting having turned evil. Instead, I think the GDPR is the EU giving the internet giants what they had been lobbying for. I have no idea what the GDPR says, but it's empirically obvious enough what its effects are, and I consider it reasonable to judge the thing by its fruits. Your eurocommissar lied to you, just like he did last time, and the time before that...

  • Belfrager
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #118
Perhaps it's a social experiment on how much crap the EU citizens can take.
That's done all the time. Through consumerism people sold themselves into rats in the lab.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #119
The GDPR nonsense worries Wikipedia too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_on_Copyright_in_the_Digital_Single_Market

Quote from: Wikipedia
This Wednesday we need your help. On 5 July 2018, the European Parliament will vote on a new copyright directive. If approved, these changes threaten to disrupt the open Internet that Wikipedia is a part of. You have time to act. Join the discussion. Thank you.

Edit: And this http://bnn-news.com/estonian-latvian-wikipedia-protest-against-eu-digital-copyright-directive-187351

The GDPR only adds to the evil. It was visible from afar.
  • Last Edit: 2018-07-05, 06:58:47 by ersi

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #120
You are completely confusing matters, which is one of the lesser problems with the proposed, and rejected 318-278 (31 abstaining), copyright law. It would be a bad law confused with a good law (GDPR). 

Wikipedia, and IT professionals in general, are not against GDPR. It is an uncommonly good thing, but as said just one step on a long parth.

  • ersi
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #121
Ah, you are right that I am confusing different EU directives here. However, the Wikipedia article says that it's indeed a bundle of directives, so the matter itself is confused and confusing. And I remind you that you have still not cited a single benefit of the GDPR to counterbalance its already observable evils.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #122
If Goebells was around he would be smiling.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • krake
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #123
If Goebells was around he would be smiling.
Do you think, he would care about Brexit?

  • rjhowie
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Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Reply #124
Nah he wouldn't be in charge but the control freakery of the EU in Europe would be fun for him!
"Quit you like men:be strong"