Thursday, October 25, 2018

GDPR got my skeleton removed

On September 29th I wrote a blog post about my ex not deleting "relationship materials" on request. I felt, and still strongly feel that delete on request is what is morally right. Normally I recognize he wouldn't be legally obligated. Pictures and texts could be considered as gift you cannot reclaim, regardless of how much emotional suffering their existence causes.

On October 10th, he confirmed he had deleted the stuff. The confirmation was short: "Done." No response to me checking: "Really? Thank you."

Today I had my chance of asking for final confirmation in a mediated call. The material is deleted.

But I asked a followup question: what made you change your mind? And the response is simultaneously sad and delightful.

What changed his mind was not the fact that many of his friends as well as internet strangers in the software community reached out to talk on my behalf. It was not that he would have cared that I was struggling with nightmares of him raping me that I couldn't control.

It was that I realized that the address I used to share those materials is a company address. And it is a company address of his family's company with relevant risk of damage. Under GDPR, I have the right to request deletion of those materials and that is what I did on October 10th, as I woke up in the middle of the night to yet another one of those awful nightmares. I emailed polite requests for deletion to the company he uses for email and his own privately owned company, to get the "Done." a few hours after.

He expressed I threatened his family, but there was nothing threatening on the request to delete the materials. Delete and all is well. There would be nothing threatening on the potential consequences either, unless my request to delete was actually valid - which it was. He was illegally holding private material on company computers. GDPR comes to play.

Lessons learned:

  1. GDPR actually works to get private data deleted. Thank you European Union. And thank you for my testing profession of keeping me well aware of what this piece of legislation means. 
  2. Private materials belongs in private computers. The traveling consultants all purpose computer for all things private and professional is a bad choice if you want to keep that stuff legally. 
  3. People you care for can really disappoint you big time. But when a door closes, another opens.