Instapaper Service Temporarily Suspended in Europe Due to GDPR

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,030
9,045



Popular read-it-later service Instapaper has temporarily suspended user access across Europe as it comes to terms with the EU's impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

In a message sent to users yesterday - subsequently shared via Twitter courtesy of tech reporter Owen Williams - the bookmarking service said it needs extra time to make necessary changes to comply with GDPR before the deadline on Friday, May 25.

Starting tomorrow May 24, 2018, access to the Instapaper service will be temporarily unavailable for residents in Europe as we continue to make changes in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25, 2018. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we intend to restore access as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about your account, would like us to generate an export of your saves, or want to check in on our progress, please let us know at support@help.instapaper.com. We look forward to having the same Instapaper service you know and love accessible in Europe in the very near future. Thanks for your patience.
Instapaper gave no indication how long the service would be suspended, and offered no further details on why it has waited until now to take action, almost two years after companies were informed of the GDPR timeline.

Created by Marco Arment in 2008, Instapaper was one of the first apps that implemented read-it-later functionality, and it was certainly one of the most widely used and well-known apps in the genre. The service was acquired by Pinterest in 2016, which may have complicated efforts for GDPR compliance given the potential for data sharing between the parent company and its subsidiary.

Businesses that interact with users in the EU must comply with the GDPR law, which sets out requirements on the collection, storage, and handling of personal data. Companies who fail to do so by the deadline risk heavy fines.

On Wednesday, Apple launched a new Data & Privacy website, which provides customers in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland with the ability to download all the personal information tied to their Apple ID account.

(Via The Verge.)

Article Link: Instapaper Service Temporarily Suspended in Europe Due to GDPR
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,088
761
Is there any perks to using Instapaper over Pocket?
Also: Europe should say EU, they’re not mutually exclusive.
It sounds like MR is correct in stating Europe because the instapaper statement says Europe, not just EU. I imagine blocking all of Europe is an incorrect statement but I don't use the app and don't know anyone in non EU European countries who does.
 

Telos101

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2016
219
814
Ireland
Is there any perks to using Instapaper over Pocket?
Instapaper has a cleaner UI, otherwise I'd say it's down to personal preference.

Also: Europe should say EU, they’re not mutually exclusive.
Instapaper's statement does say it's suspended in "Europe", so yeah it's a bit murky. Maybe their European server services both EU and non-EU countries, so everyone loses out.
 

SiMartin

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2014
35
14
"The service was acquired by Pinterest in 2016, which may have complicated efforts for GDPR compliance ..."

If anything I'd expect they'd be more prepared for GDPR if owned by a larger site such as Pinterest. Were Pinterest asleep for the past few years?

Of note, and I hadn't thought about it until today, MacRumors is one of the few businesses/sites that hasn't notified me about GDPR yet, and I'm in a European country so covered by the regulations. I presume MacRumors is going to be complying with the regulations?
 

dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
3,277
3,905
"The service was acquired by Pinterest in 2016, which may have complicated efforts for GDPR compliance ..."

If anything I'd expect they'd be more prepared for GDPR if owned by a larger site such as Pinterest. Were Pinterest asleep for the past few years?

Of note, and I hadn't thought about it until today, MacRumors is one of the few businesses/sites that hasn't notified me about GDPR yet, and I'm in a European country so covered by the regulations. I presume MacRumors is going to be complying with the regulations?
The platform macrumors is using has been updated with tools for GDPR compliance, so it should be relatively easy for them to comply.
 

architect1337

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2016
69
74
"The service was acquired by Pinterest in 2016, which may have complicated efforts for GDPR compliance ..."

If anything I'd expect they'd be more prepared for GDPR if owned by a larger site such as Pinterest. Were Pinterest asleep for the past few years?

Of note, and I hadn't thought about it until today, MacRumors is one of the few businesses/sites that hasn't notified me about GDPR yet, and I'm in a European country so covered by the regulations. I presume MacRumors is going to be complying with the regulations?
It’s a myth to think that anyone who manages data of EU citizens has to send out an email to regain consent. Providing MR can show you consented to use the service (and signing up to the forum would be implied consent), they don’t have to mail you again.
 

MrGimper

macrumors 603
Sep 22, 2012
6,096
6,408
Andover, UK
It’s a myth to think that anyone who manages data of EU citizens has to send out an email to regain consent. Providing MR can show you consented to use the service (and signing up to the forum would be implied consent), they don’t have to mail you again.
It depends what data Macrumors holds about an individual, and for what purpose. If you knew what data you were supplying and for what purpose you were doing so, then no problem. Then there's the whole accountability, privacy and right to be forgotten in there too
 

341328

Suspended
Jul 18, 2009
732
939
“almost two years after companies were informed of the GDPR timeline.“ - what BS. The gov didn’t email everyone explaining this in-depth and paying for the labour required.
 

nathan_393

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2016
37
23
It depends what data Macrumors holds about an individual, and for what purpose. If you knew what data you were supplying and for what purpose you were doing so, then no problem. Then there's the whole accountability, privacy and right to be forgotten in there too
Updating their privacy policy doesn't require an email (I wish everybody understood this). They could put a banner on the website, or you could inquire to the technical staff here about your right to be forgotten. The GDPR is meant to protect you from malicious advertisers. When you sign up to a forum, you have already given consent, and they don't have to email you to tell you how you can be forgotten.

If you didn't give consent to the way they were using your data before, they would have to update you. But since your data is just what you supplied to them to use for a forum, and MR supposedly doesn't track you for ads, there is nothing to update.
 
  • Like
Reactions: msephton

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,324
4,780
Canada
Looks like Instapaper dropped the ball. They've had plenty of time to act, this requirement didn't occur overnight. EU citizens can go look for alternatives.
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
43
17
Copenhagen, Denmark
Lots if not most of the EU countries have already for many years had local legislation compelling data holders to comply with GDPR :)

GDPR is basically a unification and generalization of already present and more or less enforced privacy legislation.

The most important aspect is the fact that now no one is allowed anywhere to store or otherwise process personal data not needed by the services they provide in order for them to function...
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,799
8,777
Detroit
Its a great app and I've been using it daily since it first came out, too. I was a little concenred when Pinterest took it over, but they've not done anything bad with it at all, and that makes me happy.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,357
3,076
I wish a load of companies that emailed me over the last few days knew this!
Those will be the ones that automatically added you to their marketing email list because you didn't tick an "opt-out" box buried somewhere in the small print when you bought or downloaded something from them. They don't need to do that to provide whatever service you originally asked them for so they can't claim it as "Legitimate interest" and have to get your explicit consent. Of course, if they've got a business model that involves monetizing your data, that might not be the way they see it. Funny thing is... certain Large Search and Social Media Outfits have just sent around a revised privacy notice with no opt-in requirement. Pass the popcorn.
 

scottishwildcat

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
232
211
I wish a load of companies that emailed me over the last few days knew this!
Some probably just playing it safe, but I'd guess a lot of them just did it for extra advertising ... I've certainly received a bunch from companies I'd long since forgotten about.
 

wschutz

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
286
89
"The service was acquired by Pinterest in 2016, which may have complicated efforts for GDPR compliance ..."

If anything I'd expect they'd be more prepared for GDPR if owned by a larger site such as Pinterest. Were Pinterest asleep for the past few years?

Of note, and I hadn't thought about it until today, MacRumors is one of the few businesses/sites that hasn't notified me about GDPR yet, and I'm in a European country so covered by the regulations. I presume MacRumors is going to be complying with the regulations?
If anything all this GDPR drama is showing is precisely the lack of preparation of major corporations who make millions in profit. It feels as if everyone has waited till the very last second to make the changes to fulfil the law, and still many have simply managed to adapt their privacy policy and put an e-mail for inquiries while they deal with it after tomorrow.

GDPR was passed 2 years ago. Plenty of time. Little interest which is surprising anyways, as the fines are not a joke.
[doublepost=1527186065][/doublepost]
“almost two years after companies were informed of the GDPR timeline.“ - what BS. The gov didn’t email everyone explaining this in-depth and paying for the labour required.
The government doesn't have to e-mail anyone about laws. There are official places to check for laws that everyone has to abide. And much less labor required. If you want to operate with EU data, you must comply with EU law, as simple as that. Thank you GDPR for imposing, for the first time ever, a proper data protection law that affects the whole planet.
[doublepost=1527186241][/doublepost]
Lots if not most of the EU countries have already for many years had local legislation compelling data holders to comply with GDPR :)

GDPR is basically a unification and generalization of already present and more or less enforced privacy legislation.

The most important aspect is the fact that now no one is allowed anywhere to store or otherwise process personal data not needed by the services they provide in order for them to function...
You should consider reading GDPR again... is more than just unification and generalization of privacy and data protection legislations of EU members.
Some EU countries had harsh ones already (Spain for example), and some others not so harsh (Sweden for example). GDPR sides with the individual and the control that the individual can do over his data. No more companies will be collecting all data from a user just because hard disk or data processing is cheap, they will have to show clearly they need that data for the business. Companies will have to give that data to the user and guarantee the user has the right to delete such data.
 
  • Like
Reactions: architect1337

SiMartin

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2014
35
14
The platform macrumors is using has been updated with tools for GDPR compliance, so it should be relatively easy for them to comply.
Has it? I wasn't aware of that. An email may have helped.

It’s a myth to think that anyone who manages data of EU citizens has to send out an email to regain consent. Providing MR can show you consented to use the service (and signing up to the forum would be implied consent), they don’t have to mail you again.
Just making (continued) use of something doesn't give consent, especially if some consent was supposedly given at some point many years in the past, under other rules/terms/policies.

Anyway, where do I go to delete my MR account and everything they have about me?
 

trunten

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2007
191
38
I’m confused as to how suspending service is any different than business as usual. Surely if they hold and or process my personal information they are beholden to the GDPR whether or not I can use their app?
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
43
17
Copenhagen, Denmark
[doublepost=1527186241][/doublepost]
You should consider reading GDPR again... is more than just unification and generalization of privacy and data protection legislations of EU members.
Some EU countries had harsh ones already (Spain for example), and some others not so harsh (Sweden for example). GDPR sides with the individual and the control that the individual can do over his data. No more companies will be collecting all data from a user just because hard disk or data processing is cheap, they will have to show clearly they need that data for the business. Companies will have to give that data to the user and guarantee the user has the right to delete such data.
Wait isn’t that exactly what I was saying only in fewer words? :)
I didn’t know that Spain is especially harsh - I know that Germany and Denmark are though it’s not thoroughly (enough) enforced in Denmark...
Companies are required to hand over data if the user demands so - not until then - but the interesting part is that no one is allowed to process personal data (such as religious or political stand, union memberships, sexual orientation - and anything other obscurable information that might be used for group persecution) they don’t absolutely need to in order to provide their services (plus users must be let known that processing is taking place and explicitly agree to this), and they must prove themselves able to correctly handle security revolving this data.

Comon data such as eye color, shoe size, preferred season etc. is still “free” - except that you must be able to inform the user of the extend of- and destroy that data within a “reasonable” timeframe if requested to do so.
Which adds a lot to backup expenses for shared platform providers ;)
 
Last edited: