There is a chance that my job may have just gotten slightly more difficult, as TheHendonMob.com (THM), the most respected and used source for live poker tournament results, has begun allowing poker players to request that their records be deleted from the database. Alternatively, players can request their name be replaced with a nickname.
THM is my go-to site to lookup the results of live tournaments for when I want to reference someone’s statistics or tournament history in an article. The site’s database is expansive and updated quickly. Though I am exaggerating when I say it will make my job more difficult, as I don’t foresee any mass records purge, it is certainly an interesting development.
Businesses Take “Better Safe Than Sorry” Measures After EU Regulations
It appears that the new policy stems from the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, which took effect in May. The GDPR is a complicated beast, but generally, it is a set of regulations that specify how companies must protect customer data. Digitalguardian.com lays out some of the basics of the GDPR:
• Requiring the consent of subjects for data processing
• Anonymizing collected data to protect privacy
• Providing data breach notifications
• Safely handling the transfer of data across borders
• Requiring certain companies to appoint a data protection officer to oversee GDPR compliance
Now, THM didn’t issue a press release announcing that players could now request their profiles be deleted. The news broke because of post on Two Plus Two made by Armin “schmette” Mette, who seems quite pleased:
After years of abusive Data-colletcion Hendenmob [sic] is now forced, due to the GDPR, to delete your Accounts if you want to.
For Deletion just write an email to [email protected]
Funnily HM response is that, the People abuse their own rights (GDPR) given to damage “the industry” which helped them with their careers in the first place.
They offer you to change your Account into a “Nickname” too.
Roland Boothby, the poker content manager for the Global Poker Index and THM (the former owns the latter), felt compelled to respond:
First post. Would just like to make a few points on this subject.
The Hendon Mob is run by a small team of poker fans whose aim it is to serve the poker community by operating the best poker database and poker information resource available on the internet. By publishing the results and pay-outs of major tournaments Hendon Mob is no more guilty of “abusive Data-collection” than the APT or the PGA. The information published on THM has already been released by a Casino or Tour in line with their own T&Cs, which a player agrees to by registering the tournament.
Its [sic] deeply sad to see certain players who have enjoyed a successful career in poker celebrate a situation where a small business operating in the poker world has its operations affected by sweeping legislative changes, purely because it confers some benefit to themselves.
I suspect these same players are more than happy to use the site for their own financial advantage, by looking up and gaining information about their opponents in major tournaments.
Yes, GPDR has caused some changes to the way we operate, but we will continue to work hard to serve the community, to improve the product we offer to poker fans, players and media and to continue to grow our traffic year on year. We would like to thank those who support Hendon Mob by visiting the site, following us on Social Media and interacting with us via any of our sites or initiatives.
Note that Boothby did not say, “Yes, players can now have their records deleted upon request.”
In fact, one player, posting under the screenname “The Apex” on Two Plus Two, asked THM to delete his records, only to have Boothby respond as such:
Thanks for your email. We do not removes [sic] profile which include significant history of cashes in major international tournaments. By registering these tournaments, players do so under the terms and conditions laid out by hosting venue or tour, which include provision for sharing of results with media and other outlets.
If you wish to block your presence in google and other searches, with regard to linking your name to poker results, this will be certainly be possible.