Understanding the importance of GDPR

Internet behavior has massively changed. People send emails, make bill payments, and shop online, entering personal details without even thinking twice. You can't agree more with this when you analyze how much personal information you may have shared by now or where these details go. The data here refers to contacts, IP address, social media updates, banking information, and the history of the websites you browsed. The companies claim that they require these things to improve their customer service by being most relevant and useful. But does it have any truth? To address this question and the concern, a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into place.

The introduction of GDPR has tremendously influenced the way your business gathers, stores, and applies customer data today. One of the studies shows that only 20% of the companies adhere to the new policy, while most of the small companies and even 60% of the tech companies haven’t done anything concrete in this field. But not following the data protection rules can be harmful to your business, be it travel, retail, or tech-related. The startups also cannot stay safe from their clutches. If you don't want to risk your business, then become GDPR compliant. Here are a few insights that can help you prepare for it.

The GDPR rights

The latest data protection regulations have empowered the EU and EEA citizens so that their personal information is not misused. Personal information can be anything – person's name, photo, email ID, bank details, social media posts, location, medical record, computer IP address, etc. These details need protection, whether they are private, public, or profession-related because all of them belong to an individual. In a B2B environment also, it is applicable even if the companies are customers as all types of relationships involve individuals in the end. With such factors in mind, the data privacy rules give some of these rights to the individuals:

  • The right to access
  • The right to be forgotten
  • The right to be informed
  • The right to have information updated
  • The right to control data processing
  • The right to know about their data breach
  • The right to transfer data

These and some other regulations have taken place to make customers, employees, prospects, people, and contractors more powerful than those companies which require data for financial benefits.

The impact of GDPR on businesses

Customers have more power than you as a business. So, it has become mandatory to comply with the data protection regulations, whether your business is in the EU or not. If you offer products or services to the EU citizens, you must abide by the rule. That's why businesses are trying to hire a data protection officer or controller who can look after this area. As per reports, failing to comply with the rules can cost you 4% of overall revenue or 20 million Euros, depending on whichever is on the higher side.

Another thing is, you need to conform to the consent of the individual to use his or her data. The person can anytime withdraw the permission, though. Besides, it can need you to seek separate consents for every processing activity. For example, you need to have evidence that an individual took a specific action to get a newsletter. Putting a disclaimer or giving an option to unsubscribe is not enough. There must be an action from the customer that confirms he or she wanted it. There are many other things also.

All these stringent changes have necessitated that you review your business processes, methods, and forms to be in alignment with GDPR and to initiate the best email marketing campaigns. To make sure you are doing everything right, you must take specific steps from your end. Let’s discuss them briefly here.

Tips for preparing for data compliance

Find out your company’s data

Check the source and location of all the personal data in your business. Find out who has access to it and whether it involves any danger of hacking. It is more about managing customer relationships than complying with GDRP, though.

Identify data you need to store

To be safe and up-to-the-mark with data privacy rules, avoid storing any data that you might not need. You can remove details that you don’t use. If your company has gathered data more than its actual utility, then it is the time to determine which is essential and which is not. You need to adopt a disciplined approach to data handling now. Before cleaning data, do analyze the activities you are conducting. For example, ask yourself:

  • Why should I archive data when I can remove it?
  • Why do I need to store this data?
  • What are these details going to do for my business?
  • Should I encrypt or delete this detail for a monetary gain?

Implement security

Placing healthy security parameters is necessary so that there is no data breach, and even if it occurs, the authorities and the individuals get a notification. You also must be careful about this when you get data from outside or a supplier.

Manage personal data

Get approval from individuals before processing any detail. Go through privacy statements and disclaimers to incorporate essential changes. Also, be ready to deal with all the rights that an individual has over his or her personal information. For example:

  • What will you do if a person wants you to transfer his details?
  • How will you inform customers in the event of a data breach?
  • How will you know if the person asking for the transfer of data is the rightful person?

Data is no less than a gold mine today. While GDPR compliance can be challenging, you should not overlook its benefits. If you are responsible for customers’ data, you can earn their loyalty and trust within a short span. It is the most useful thing that every business aspires to achieve. So, make sure to comply with data privacy. Since it is not possible to handle everything manually, you can visit https://siteimprove.com/en-gb/data-privacy/ to learn about the innovative ways of doing it.