In today’s digital-dominated world, personal data is being collected at an ever-increasing rate. The posts we like on social media, the emails we send, the websites we visit and the apps we use all contribute to our digital footprint.
This comes with a long list of pros and cons. On one hand, personal data improves the efficiency of the customer experience and enhances interactions between businesses and consumers. On the other hand, personal data is becoming more vulnerable to theft or misuse due to its ever-increasing value.
According to a report published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, 57% of consumers don’t trust brands to use their data responsibly. And, the truth is, many companies don’t have efficient systems in place to manage data securely. Symantec’s State of European Privacy Report showed that 90% of businesses believe it’s too difficult to delete customer data and 60% do not have the systems in place to help them do so.
That’s where GDPR comes in….
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new digital privacy regulation, which will be officially introduced on the 25th May 2018.
As current EU data privacy regulations have not been updated since 1995 (before the advent of social media, smartphones, and other more advanced web technology), GDPR will offer a dramatic shift in personal data management. And, unlike current regulations, you cannot opt out of GDPR and failing to comply could lead to a hefty fine. Up to €20 million or 4% of your global turnover, to be exact!
The new approach puts the power back in the hands of the consumer, offering protection and reducing exploitation. For businesses, this means more accountability and transparency — including thorough documentation of personal data usage, regular privacy impact assessments, stricter policies regarding seeking permission to use personal data, improved privacy settings for digital products and websites, and efficient reporting of data breaches.
While implementing GDPR will come with a few challenges for businesses and marketers, clear and consistent data privacy regulations across Europe has multiple long-term benefits for companies and consumers.