The Internet Created a GDPR-Inspired Meme Using Privacy Policies

Even your smart fridge is updating its terms of service

GDPR got the meme treatment no one saw coming. Getty Images, @theLoganTrent
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

When the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first announced, the one consequence probably no one saw coming was the internet making a whole meme about it.

The public, clearly, wasn’t totally prepared for an endless barrage of “updates to our privacy policy” emails. And the internet did what it does best, taking a complex foreign regulation—the entirety of GDPR consists of 88 pages— and turned it into a giant joke.

Look, it’s 2018 and we as a society desperately need to laugh.

The jokes vary from the various places privacy policies are showing up to even celebrities, like Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi joining in on the fun.

But, possibly the best updates to privacy policies might be found on the website “GDPR Hall of Shame,” created by Owen Williams, a freelance writer. There, people can find a collection of the weirdest places updates to privacy polices like on a smart fridge or on receipts to actual countries, like Iceland.

While the jokes make GDPR feel like some throwaway regulation, it’s not (though according to a SAP study, many marketers aren’t prepared for it). GDPR has made some companies, like ad-tech companies Drawbridge and Kargo, close their European offices, and increased the possibility of an ad-tech shakeout. And on the first day post-GDPR, Facebook and Google got hit with complaints for violating the new policy.

The “updates to our privacy policy” emails might be slowing down for now, but at least everyone will always have a GDPR playlist or two to listen to forever.

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.