GDPR Has Come And I’m Still Receiving Newsletters I Didn’t Subscribe To


The 25th of May saw the introduction of the shiny new GDPR. We then entered a utopia of privacy, and security for our personal data.

By that I mean that everyone’s inbox rang constantly with a cacophony of “WE’VE UPDATED OUR PRIVACY POLICY!” which might as well have said, “We’re doing the bare minimum to not be fined”. Some companies gave as little of a shit about securing your private data as they used to. And some even actively try to trick you into accepting their bullshit advertising cookies.

I realize that this seems a little hypocritical as our own cookie notice pops up from the bottom with no way to reject it. To be completely candid, what we collect are analytics, which are not collected unless you click OK. Personal information is only collected if you chose to contact us on our page, subscribe to the newsletter and accept our terms and conditions.

Not everyone seems to be taking this seriously

In all those emails you received, they should have had buttons which allow you to opt-in. Most of the ones I received at least were not. The emails would say that unless I explicitly unsubscribed, then they will take it as a sign that I accept everything and they can proceed as normal. They then proceeded to send me their newsletters that I never subscribed to in the first place. That is, if the company even bothered sending an email in the first place.

While not explicitly banned, these type of emails are considered the same as pre-ticked boxes. Recital 32 of GDPR says: “Silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity should not constitute consent.”

Which brings me to pre-ticked boxes. Today while researching for an article, I was met with this lovely notice taking up a third of my screen.

Privacy Consent

We’ve already discussed dark patterns, and how I am more likely to be drawn to click “I accept”. Instead, I decided to check the preferences to see exactly what they are going to try and collect. And I was met with this screen:

Privacy Settings

That is about 7 different pre-ticked checkboxes that I had to manually turn off. Had I blindly pressed accept, I would have “explicitly” given consent to have my information collected and sold. And they are not the only offender.

Are companies stills ending you unsolicited newsletter emails? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.