It all has to do with a new data privacy regulation in the European Union called GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation. Before this regulation, Germany would have one privacy law and Spain would have another. The GDPR is meant to standardize privacy laws across the EU and “reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”
A Simple Explanation of GDPR
Websites and services that operate or target people in the EU will need to explain simply what information they collect about EU persons which can’t be hidden in long terms and conditions.
EU persons will have the right to opt-out of having their information collected. In some cases, this could mean that they will no longer have access to that site or service. EU persons also have the right to have their information deleted upon request, which is known as “the right to be forgotten.”
The future impact of this regulation is still uncertain, especially to US citizens and companies, but it’s certainly making everyone scramble to comply. This is why you are seeing all of these emails, pop-ups, and opt-in buttons.
As a US citizen that values your data and privacy, you might enjoy some of the benefits of this new regulation as some large companies find it cheaper to implement compliance globally rather than try to segment their services.
If you have a company that operates on the web, and especially if you market to people in the European Union, you should be learning more about the GDPR.