With the intervention of technology and of course the internet, there is not a single day in our life that we can imagine without any online activity. From banking to shopping and business communication to personal interaction, everything happens online. And in the process, we end up sharing personal details like email address, phone number, and other information without giving a second thought.
But later when companies use this data for commercial purpose, our privacy is put at risk. Based on the data security concern of the citizens, the European Union (EU) parliament adopted a stricter approach to safeguard their data with the introduction of the new law, popularly known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This EU legislation will come into effect on 25th May 2018. While this new regulation puts individuals in EU states in the driving seat with more powers over their data, companies, and organizations dealing with data gets a disadvantage as from now they have to comply with all the regulations mentioned under the GDPR.
The UK’s existing Data Protection Directive of 1995 has some inconsistencies and loose ends regarding its policies and its implementations that proved incompetent to protect the personal data of its citizens which over the years has created dissentient among people leading to lack of trust in the government regulations. The introduction of GDPR comes as an answer to all these concerns and is intended to streamline the use of EU citizen’s personal information by international companies and ensure that stricter laws are enforced to maintain data privacy. This new legislation will bring transparency and lay the ground for clean and legal business environment not only within the EU territory but also at global level.
Under GDPR, EU citizens enjoy a hell lot of rights. Once the law implements, citizens will have the right to know where data is used, for what purpose it is being used and they can at any time withdraw their consent for data usage and even can ask the company to delete their data.
All the foreign companies dealing with the data of not only EU citizens but also residents and even tourists will have to comply with GDPR. The data controllers and data processors will have to take proper permission from the individual before using any form of personal data including their name, email address, gender details, genetics information, biometrics, social insurance account numbers, etc.
No matter whether the processing of data takes place in the EU or outside. If your organization or company offers products and services to people in EU states, you will fall under GDPR obligations. Also, it is mandatory for companies to appoint a data controller or data protection officer who will make sure that your data processing activities are GDPR compliant.
There is no way you can avoid the new data protection regulation. But if in case companies do so then they will have to pay a fine of 20 million Euros or up to 4% of their global annual revenue, whichever will be more.
With GDPR coming into practice, businesses both B2B and B2C will have to discover new ways of collecting customer information that too with their permission. The new rule makes it compulsory for organizations to acquire separate consent for every activity they perform using customer data. One for all approach will no longer be applicable from May 25th. Companies will have to move beyond assumptions and work towards fetching approval from customers before putting their data into use.
On the one hand, GDPR will create transparency in the way businesses operate and keep prospects informed about how their data is being utilized. While on the other hand on the part of the B2B marketers, the process of getting consent will involve a lengthy process of documentation. It may be a challenge, but it will help companies strengthen their privacy and security measures and avoid hefty fines.
Companies will have to cross check their applications, tools and business practices to ensure that they are complying with GDPR. Now, to get customer’s approval for any business communication, companies should offer opt-in forms or tick the box option to let individuals share their information at their discretion. When it comes to email marketing, businesses can email prospects only when they have given consent for the same or has not opted out from the existing database.
There is no other way that businesses can ignore GDPR. Hence, before it gets too late, start preparing for the showdown which will commence from May this year.
Not sure where to start from and how to remain in compliance? Here are few tips to make you GDPR-ready.
By saying so, we mean that have a look at your database to find out from where you source data, who can access the data you have, and how secure it is under your supervision.
The first thing you should do after mapping your data is clean up all that seems irrelevant, unwanted and extra in your database. Make sure that only the data that serves your purpose stays while the rest should be taken out as GDPR prioritizes disciplined use and treatment of personal data.
If till now, you have been overlooking the importance of having security measures in place, then it’s time you should stop doing it. Start developing and implementing facilities that will prevent data breaches and keep yourself prepared to address any such situation if it arises in the future.
Even if you outsource data, don’t forget to check with the supplier if they have right security measures as any breach on their part will also make you liable for it under GDPR.
Don’t rely on pre-checked boxes and consent forms any longer as once GDPR is implemented, those statements will no longer be accepted. Hence, reviewing your privacy disclosures and statements is necessary to avoid any discrepancies later.
GDPR gives individuals full control of their data. Hence, the challenge lies in getting their consent for the use of this data without going against the law. So, keep yourself prepared to handle valuable information and any situation arising out of it.
As a marketing database provider, eSalesData deals with B2B customer data to help businesses reach their targeted prospects at their right address. Hence, our customers may have the question that how will GDPR impact us and are we ready to face it?
Well! Here is to inform all our customers that we deal with data of prospects located across the globe. Hence, our database also comprises the contact details of the professionals of EU which makes it quite clear that we do fall under GDPR. At the moment, we are assessing our database keeping pace with the GDPR guidelines and compliance regulations. And hope before May we will complete process for smooth functioning in the coming days.
As a piece of note, we would like to inform clients that there is nothing to worry about as our data privacy and security measures have always been very strict since the beginning. Our customer-centric approach has always motivated us to ensure that the data we handle is compliant and protected from security threats. For other providers, GDPR may have created panic, but there has not been a massive impact on us as we have never compromised on operating our business in compliance with industry regulations.