[GDPR] Musings

This article is a good synthesis of what GDPR is intended to be, so start there.

There are indeed a few tremors about private data being used nilly willy, and the resulting backlash. Because the current state of the web definitely has a vibe of “Wild Wild West” to it, I see on a daily basis grandiose plans for start-ups or new services that will generate revenue from exploiting mass data collection. I don’t remember the source(s), but I was told by multiple ones that 90% of new things on the web fail within the first year. It is an El Dorado, because these companies do get funding, and then fold, but the GDPR might augment that failure rate. When parts of your gross income goes to paying fines, it’s even harder to breaking even.

So, on the one hand we have “entrepreneurs” with a culture of raising millions and not really caring if the company folds a year later. I’m not saying they all are crooked, far from it. But quite a large number of actors in this milieu are in for the money, not for the service, and they aren’t the ones that are penniless and/or jobless when the structure folds. And they always have the next one lined up when it does.

On the other hand, we have the banks and investors, who seem to be giving money away like they are printing it, without any regard to the viability of the project. Investing involves risk, etc, but seriously…

And there is a third hand (I know, I know) which is completely disregarded because schools churn them out by the hundreds of thousands: the devs. There are enough of us right now who are passionate about our job, and will work nights, week ends and holidays without complaining, totally playing for “the team” by being full-stack rockstar unicorns. But the stock is dwindling. You can’t tell a 20 something who came to learn about coding because it’s one of the very few lines of work where there are jobs that don’t involve getting dirty that it means sacrificing their whole life for something that isn’t their passion. We are the only group of workers for whom everyone considers it normal to work 100h weeks without extra pay. How long do you think that will last?

The three of those combined make me think “uh oh”.


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