Under review

GDPR and EAA/EU availability

Rob Weir 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 week ago 12

Is there a timeline or plan for when sites might be available in the EAA/EU again? I know that the Missourian is somewhat of an outlier, being at a journalism school, but we have a large number of alums and readers in the EU, and also send profs over there to teach quite often. Our London and Brussels programs would sure like to be able to view our content. 

(I know everyone is dealing with this, I don't mean it to be a knock at all, but just want to know what to tell people when they ask me.) 

thanks, Rob 

Under review

We are definitely looking at some different options. There were huge industry changes being made even up through May 25 itself! As we said in the announcement:

"Until more clarity regarding methods of offering compliance is understood across the industry, our initial and necessary step is to block persons we recognize as coming from the EEA and EU to both preserve the rights of their citizens and ensure that our customers’ sites are not in violation."

Anyway, we are having another meeting this afternoon and I will try to share more details after that.

Thanks Christine. I know that a lot of it was in flux right up to the day of.

We are working on a new method that will allow individual items that likely require consent (i.e. some ads or widgets) to be blocked while allowing the full page to be read by EU/EEA users. This will be optional per site after you have determined your own compliance levels with your legal staff. We are working to have this available in the next week or so.

Separately, we are looking at consent tools and other options which can provide more fine-grained compliance other than blocking or widget blocking. This is still being investigated.

Hi Christine, just to circle back on this, we are starting to get several complaints from users traveling in the area. Could you provide an update when you get a chance? 

Also, have you (or anyone else) heard whether VPN software can allow the users to see sites? 

thanks, Rob

We got our first complaint this week as well, from one of our biggest advertisers who was traveling to London!

Ouch, Kevin! I know it's a super thorny problem for TN to solve, but it is definitely one that's going to get more urgent.

He was understanding but it made us realize we probably need to pay more attention to the issue then we had been.


Any more updates? Our complaints continue to roll in.

Starting to get complaints from "paying subscribers" on vacation overseas and unhappy they can't read the site.

We've had two complain so far. It would be nice if there was a splash page that details why the website is unavailable. To my knowledge the only way someone would know why would be if they read the Terms of Use but then they obviously have access to the website anyway.

I used this website to get a look at what those users are seeing: http://teleportyou.com

I agree the page they get could be a little nicer.


Hi guys! We are still working with our legal team on a solution. There are a lot of moving parts here!

We did issue a potential fix today that will help (we hope) the situation where a Facebook scraper comes from EU and you end up sharing the GDPR error message to Facebook (even though you and the article is in the US). Yuck! And, I'm very sorry if that happened to you. We added article meta data to the error page in hopes of preventing this issue. Let me know if you experience this again with articles posted after 12 pm today or so.

In terms of upcoming changes, we are working on several different scenarios and we hope to have at least our next phase done in a few weeks. Hopefully!

For the time being, you may want to get a head start by identifying any scripts, third parties or widgets that you use on your site and determine if they are GDPR compliant.