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The Aftermath of GDPR

Dugagjin Lashi
February 21st, 2019 · 1 min read

Because of GDPR, USA Today decided to run a separate version of their website for EU users which has all the tracking scripts and ads removed. Practically, EU users will be redirected to a subdomain containing a version of their website that complies to GDPR. If you do a performance audit you’ll see how fast the internet could be without all the junk! 🙄

USAToday audit for US users.

USAToday audit for EU users.

They went from a load time of more than 45 seconds to 3 seconds, from 124 JavaScript files to 0, from 5.2 MB download size to 0.5 MB, and from a total of more than 500 requests to 34.

EU users fully load an article on their website in less than 1 second. US users will have popups, autoplay video, and 1000+ HTTP/S requests.

USAToday 13 HTTP/S requests for EU (top) and 1000+ HTTP/S requests for US (bottom).

The article view is amazing as well.

USAToday left the US and right the EU.

Not all websites comply to GDPR like this. The Verge shows a tracking-consent message when visiting the site from the EU. Most people will click “I Accept” to make it go away, but if you don’t and hide the message via CSS, you won’t be tracked and the site is way faster.

The Verge accept button page.

The Verge when clicking on accept.

The Verge when ignoring accept.

From 32 seconds to 5 seconds load time, 61 to 2 JavaScript files, and 2 MB to 1 MB download size.

Some websites are transparent with their trackers. They inform you which trackers they use and they even let you disable them. Tumblr does this but makes it as hard as possible to disable them. The list of trackers is unbelievable long and you cannot disable them all at once.

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