It's anything but a happy General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) day for several major U.S. news organizations as their websites are temporarily blocked in Europe as a new data privacy law goes into effect today.
Websites such as the LA Times, NY Daily News and Chicago Tribune are all temporarily blocked this morning, saying their content is unavailable in most European countries.
Anyone trying to access the sites, which also include those owned by Tronc and Lee Enterprises (examples include Orlando Sentinel [Tronc], Arizona Daily Sun and the St. Louis Dispatch [Lee Entperises]) see a message explaining that the website is working with European authorities on trying to get access back as quickly as possible.
According to Gizmodo, the statement on the LA Times website reads: 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 EU calls GDPR the most sweeping change in data protection rules in a generation, but there are some tricky issues surrounding its rollout.
Companies are trying to understand what level of protection different data needs, whether this could force them to change the way they do business and innovate, and how to manage the EU's 28 national data regulators, who enforce the law.
"Once you try to codify the spirit (of the law) — then you get unintended consequences," said Lars Andersen, whose London-based My Nametags business handles names and phone numbers of children. Andersen said. "There's been a challenge for us: What actually do I have to do? There are a million sort of answers."
"As technology increasingly becomes the fabric of business and society, its critical that it be trusted," David Kenny, SVP of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, told Fox News. "IBM has been helping our customers to be ready for GDPR, and beyond that, we are calling on the entire tech industry to adhere to principles of ensuring all AI systems are secure, transparent and keep data private."
Lee Enterprises, the fourth largest newspaper group in the U.S., publishing 46 newspapers across 21 states, has a statement (by way of BBC) that reads:
"We're sorry. This site is temporarily unavailable. 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."
Bookmarking app Instapaper, which is owned by Pinterest, has also temporarily shut off its access to European users.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia