Several US news websites block EU users as new data rules come into effect

The EU's GDPR legislation means many websites have had to introduce new privacy policies

Several US news websites block EU users as new data rules come into effect

Picture by: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

A number of US news websites are temporarily unavailable to most European users, as new EU data protection rules come into effect.

Today marks the day the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules come into effect, with the legislation offering new protections for web users over how their data is used, stored and shared by organisations.

Many websites - both local and international - are today asking European users to agree to new privacy terms.

However, visitors attempting to access US news websites owned by the Tronc group have temporarily had their access fully blocked.

Tronc - the third-largest newspaper publisher in the US - owns papers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News.

Screenshot: Los Angeles Times

The note reads: "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."

Other US sites offered different solutions - with public radio broadcaster NPR informing European users they could either accept their terms for the full website or instead access a basic 'plain text' version.


Screenshot: Plain text NPR website

Some other websites and services were also at least temporarily blocked to European users - such as video game Ragnarok Online and the Pinterest-owned Instapaper.

The GDPR rules are coming into force two years after their adoption.

Speaking about the new GDPR rules, the European Commission's Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourová said: "Data protection is a fundamental right in the EU. The new rules will put the Europeans back in control of their data. Now we have a choice and can decide what happens and who has what sort of data.

"You can ask and companies have to tell you. You can also recover your data if you leave or change service."