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ICO guide to GDPR crashes website just hours before deadline

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONERS OFFICE (ICO) website is serious borkage issues, just hours before the new European GDPR rules come into effect.

A PDF guide to the legislation which is downloadable from the site is doing something we’ve never seen before. After the website hangs for around 2 minutes, the PDF appears, but instead of the full guide, we get the front cover, and on page 2, an error message which reads:

“We’re sorry, but our website is unavailable at the moment. Please try again later.”

This suggests that the pdf is dynamically created every time it is requested rather than simply being stored on a server – but more importantly, it’s a bit like having the HMRC site go down on tax day – it’s a worry that there hasn’t been enough foresight to prevent this from happening.

The rest of the ICO website is operating normally, or near normally.

With GDPR rules coming in to force at midnight, firms are rushing to make sure that the thing they should have done months ago actually gets done to avoid massive fines.

However, it has become increasingly clear that a large chunk of the myriad of “opt-in”, “opt-out” and “FYI” emails that have clogged the continent’s inboxes are completely unnecessary – as long as the policies comply with the new rules, which the vast majority do.

The ICO Twitter feed was updated recently with something about a podcast, so we wouldn’t expect things to stay like this too much longer, but the comedy timing of the outage is both predictable and hilarious.

Meanwhile, the internet is ablaze with people who don’t understand GDPR who are frustrated by the scale of GDPR emails from companies who don’t understand GDPR.

A few comments have said “at least it’s only till Friday”. Alas, we suspect this isn’t the end of it – rather the beginning.µ  

 

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