Over 1,000 U.S. News Websites Remain Unavailable in Europe due to GDPR Introduction

Hundreds of U.S. news websites have been unavailable in Europe since the May 25 introduction date of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as they remain uncompliant in relation to the new legislation.

Due to this EU-based readers have been blocked from reading the content on these websites, much to the annoyance of many American tourists, business travelers.

The story was intially reported by the BBC, that news websites – including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, the St. Louis Dispatch, the Chicago Tribune, and the Orlando Sentinel – owned by media companies like Tronc and Lee Enterprises are now completely blocked in the European Union. These are just a number of the hundreds of US news websites that remain unavailable within the EU. Tronc and GateHouse’s corporate sites can still be accessed from the EU, but Lee’s cannot.

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

In order to prepare for this new dawn in EU data protection, a large number of US companies made preparations for the introduction of the new legislation and sought the consent of EU visitors for consent to use their data.

Sarah Toporoff, a Massachusetts native who works in Paris for the Global Editors Network,  criticized the lack of prepartions of these blocked outlets. She said “It is naive and wholly irresponsible to think that U.S. news holds no relevance beyond U.S. borders. U.S. brands should be better at knowledge sharing with their European counterparts and learn how to serve audiences within the GDPR’s parameters. Not to do so is quite undemocratic.”

EU-based visitor to the Los Angeles Times website were greeted with a message that read “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue 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 recognise you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore cannot grant you access at this time”.

NPR, the National Public Radio of the United States of America started to display their consent tool to comply with GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. The organization are offering an alternative method to users that decline cookies. These visitors are sent to a plain text website. This led to many comments on the Social Media platform Twitter that the visitors were bring sent back in time to the 1990s.