Instapaper Service Temporarily Suspended in Europe Due to GDPR

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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.)

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago
"The service was acquired by Pinterest ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/08/23/pinterest-acquires-instapaper/') 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?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

"The service was acquired by Pinterest ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/08/23/pinterest-acquires-instapaper/') 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

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.

I wish a load of companies that emailed me over the last few days knew this!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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26 months ago
Looks a lot like a student doing revision a day before the exam, come on you knew this day would come.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
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?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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