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Facts vs Fear Mongering: Webflow and European users?

I believe that most people here are designers, now lawyers, however all the European privacy rules have turned our world upside down.

I barely got the hang of GDPR and how to make my websites compliant and now, surprise, we have this Privacy Shield thing to worry about.

I tried, really hard to understand what is going on but each time I am trying to understand the issue, I get sucked into a whirlwind of contradictory information and no clarity in sight.

This is a question to my fellow EU webflow freelancers/agencies:

Is webflow OVER for us? Has it become uncompliant for us to make websites if they are hosted on US servers and not in Europe?

How did you adapt to the situation? What must we do?

Please, someone help me understand what do we need to do in order to make our European-made webflow sites compliant.

Thank you very much!

I totally understand how you feel, I am in the same boat. This legislation has confused me completely and I cannot get a straight answer. I am surprised that there isn’t something said about this on Youtube.

I cannot offer any advice as I too am seeking answers. I believe that Webflow is looking into making some EU servers, but this is going off one small comment in the forum, they have otherwise been radio silent on how they intend to deal with this situation. I presume they are being cagey so they cannot be the target of any legal action by users but I for one feel like the EU users are being left out to dry, and feel pretty un-valued right now.

As for what we can do, I am making my thoughts known, while trying to find some answers. I was just about to start a business using Webflow, this change in legislation combined with their handling of it has greatly shaken my trust in their organisation.

I am choosing to believe they will sort it out, most likely by creating said European servers, so for now I am stalling my business plans and working on portfolio. But as I just reduced my hours at work so I had time to work on this business, their procrastination is costing me £5000 per year, not much for a business but a lot for me, so I really wish they would get a move on.

I am also looking at their competitors as well as looking into Wordpress too, though I am going to wait a while to see what they do, if I see no progress I am going to leave Webflow behind.

I love Webflow and I think it is the future of front end development, but it feels to me like they are buckling under their own success. They preach transparency but have so far been very poor at responding to this situation and keeping users in the loop. I cannot tell clients when I will have an answer, so after taking time to sell Webflow to them I know have to backtrack and look like a fool and have lost their trust. This has cost me money and time.

Admittedly, it is not Webflows’ fault this happened, I get that it is a really tricky situation and I applaud everything they have done thus far. But they are not handling this well at all.

Thank you for answering! I guess we will just have to wait and see.

The only thing that I don’t understand is why is it so complicated to restrict the hosting of EU websites on European servers. From what I undestand, they are using Amazon Web Services & Fastly that ALREADY have servers all over Europe. I am just venting now sorry.

Anyway, I wish you good fortune and may all our problems get quickly resolved!

It’s a complicated matter, as often for legal things…

First of all : it’s not OVER for us europeans to use Webflow, but some aspects are legally more complicated since the Privacy Shield was deemed invalid.

From my understanding, the main issue is about personal and sensitive data. So I’d say that if your site handles personal data (like Facebook for examples) then you’ll need to ensure that this data is handled within EU following EU regulations.
For a Webflow site I imagine, this will mostly affect you for contact forms, and the usage of Cookies

Otherwise , the problem is more with 3rd parties like Memberstack who’s core business is to handle this sensitive data.

So what I’d say should be done:

  • You need to check what data your site has access to and how it handles it
  • If you’re suspicious about something, try to change it (better be safe than sorry)
  • Webflow is a US company but has servers in EU thanks to AWS. So they need to ensure the data processed within EU is treated according to EU regulations. This needs to be done via a specific contract between them, AWS and whatever other provider they use.
  • Webflow should really give transparency on this, I agree with you here.
  • Hope that the new Privacy Shield the govs are working on will address this and that we can go back to work without having to worry about this :slight_smile:

Good response.
I have actually messaged a few creators regarding this and it seems that most of them do not understand the legislation and don’t really care either. They are working under the assumption that the odds of having an issue are slim and that clients who handle a lot of user data are likely to have their own legal teams that you can trust this stuff to, so they just aren’t worrying about it.

Not to judge those creators as this is working out for them just fine it seems, but for me this feels irresponsible. I am happy to leave the actual website legalities to the clients but as far as the tools and plugins I am using and recommending, I need to be able to understand their legal status at least in brief.

Some transparency would be great. I have searched Webflows support and all I can find is an article about preparing for GDPR and in that a sentence stating they are seeking GDPR certification, nothing stating their current status.