EssexClubbing.co.uk was a website that listed nightclubs and events in Essex, helping clubbers to share reviews and photos.
I ran the website at a loss (there is no charge for use, or for trading), which was fine as my day job covered the bills.
With sadness, EssexClubbing.co.uk was shut down in April 2018, after fifteen years of operation.
Unfortunately the European Union's new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), introduced on 25th May 2018, creates uncertainty and risk that I can't justify taking.
GDPR threatens website owners with fines of 4% of turnover or €20 million (whichever is higher) if they do not jump through a number of ambiguously-defined hoops. The law, combined with parasitic no-win-no-fee legal firms, puts website owners at risk of vindictive reporting. Early-stage websites and non-profits cannot afford legal teams. Therefore the risk posed by GDPR is unacceptably high.
Perversely, this new EU law hurts small website like mine, but helps reinforce the dominance of Facebook, Google and Twitter, who are able to prepare and defend themselves using established legal teams and cash reserves, and who now face less competition from startups. The EU Cookie Law, EU VAT regulation and now the EU GDPR are all examples of poorly-implemented laws that add complexity and unintended side-effects for businesses within the EU.
I recently shut down another of my websites, StreetLend.com for similar reasons, and will spend from now until May 25th shutting down and securing my remaining non-profit websites. Sadly it seems I am not alone in doing so.
EssexClubbing.co.uk was created by Chris Beach as a side project in 2003.
Other projects include the forum for Forest Hill and Honor Oak, Sydenham and Catford, London.
ESTA US application online