Why Europe’s New Privacy Laws Are Causing Some Online Games to Shut Down

Posted on Friday, 18th May 2018 @ 03:03 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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On May 25, Europe’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws will go live. Companies doing business in the European Union will need to comply with a new set of regulations designed to protect the private data of Europe’s citizens. The new regulations will require more overt explanations of private data being collected, how it will be used, and—in specific cases—the hiring of a Data Protection Officer to oversee compliance.

As a result, the cost of doing business in Europe is about to go up. It costs to come into compliance with the new directives, and it’ll cost more to operate in Europe going forward. It’s the strictest set of government privacy laws regulating data on the internet so far, and it’ll be years before we understand its full effects.

Some companies are already feeling the burden. “I’m very sad to announce thatLoadout’s end of service will be on 5/24/2018,” the online shooter for PC Loadout said in a prepared statement on its Facebook pageLoadout had several reasons for shutting down—including increased costs unrelated to the new regulations—but the GDPR was at the final straw.

“There is a pretty lengthy list of changes required by GDPR,” Rob Cohen, Loadout’sCEO, told me via email. “We’d have to update our client, server, database, and more. It’s a pretty big amount of development work for a game that is no longer in development.”

The GDPR requires companies collecting data have to make that data available to customers upon request within one month, totally free. If that customer wants their data deleted, the company must also be able to completely scrub them and all their data from its systems.

Existing customers will have to positively opt back into data collection, which means Loadout would need to contact everyone they’ve ever collected data from over the past few years.

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