Over 1,000 U.S. News Websites Remain Inaccessible in Europe because of GDPR Launch

August 16, 2018


Hundreds of U.S. news websites have been inaccessible in Europe since the May 25 launch date of the European Union’s General Data Protection Rule because they remain uncompliant in relation to the new rule.

Because of this EU-based readers have been barred from reading the subject matter on these websites, much to the frustration of several American visitors, business travelers.

The story was initially informed by the BBC, that news websites – including the Chicago Tribune, the St. Louis Dispatch, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Orlando Sentinel – owned by mass media firms like Tronc and Lee Enterprises are now totally obstructed in the European Union. These are only a number of the hundreds of US news websites that remain inaccessible within the EU. Tronc and GateHouse’s corporate sites can still be retrieved from the EU, but Lee’s cannot.

The General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, was introduced to give the EU’s 500 million residents greater control over how their information is used online. It was passed in April 2016 and a two-year transitional period came to an end on May 25 this year.

To get ready for this new beginning in EU data safety, a large number of US firms made arrangements for the launch of the new law and requested the approval of EU visitors for permission to use their data.

Sarah Toporoff, a Massachusetts native who works in Paris for the Global Editors Network, criticized the lack of preparations of these obstructed outlets. She said “It is naive and completely irresponsible to think that U.S. news holds no relevance beyond U.S. boundaries. U.S. products must be better at knowledge sharing with their European colleagues and learn how to help viewers within the GDPR’s limits. Not to do so is pretty undemocratic.”

EU-based visitor to the Los Angeles Times website was welcomed with a message that read “Unluckily, our website is presently inaccessible in most European states. We are engaged in the problem and devoted to looking at alternatives that support our complete variety of digital offerings to the EU market. We carry on to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism”. The Arizona Daily Sun published a similar message saying “We recognize you are trying to access this website from a state belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which applies the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and for that reason cannot allow you access at this time”.

NPR, the National Public Radio of the United States of America began to show their consent tool to comply with GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. The organization is offering a substitute method to users that decline cookies. These visitors are sent to a plain text website. This resulted in many remarks on the Social Media platform Twitter that the visitors were being sent back in time to the 1990s.