• Marketing ,

It’s GDPR Day. What’s Next?

If in the wrong hands, I can destroy the world as we know it.

What am I?

Data!

 

Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. It’s GDPR day!

Personally, I’ve had enough eBooks, PDFs and 101 guides minutely explaining compliance best practice to last me a lifetime.

I think there are enough brilliant resources out there so I am not going to attempt to create a life-changing resource myself. If you are into the nitty-gritty details, I’ve listed a few of my favourite guides at the end of this article, which you are more than welcome to read through.

Instead, I’ll talk a little bit about what effects the GDPR will have on consumer lives and in business. I’ll also cover some of the most important bits that you simply have to know as a consumer.

 

My favourite pro 🙂

There’s one mahoosive benefit for us all (from a consumers perspective). Going forward, you will only receive communications from sources where you have actively opted in.

Theoretically, today is the end of spam emails and cold calls from companies that have bought your information from a third party.

This means no more emails from those dodgy websites you signed up to seven years ago. GDPR coming into effect means we’re all starting fresh. Kinda.

 

The unfortunate con 🙁

On the con side of things (and from a business perspective). Moving forward, it’s going to be much harder to compete with conglomerates, FTSE100 companies and eCommerce giants.

Many of these businesses built their empires using data. Importantly, they built their empire outwith the new regulations from GDPR. Any new businesses will have to struggle with new legislation that Amazon, Uber and Airbnb never had to deal with. Whilst data privacy is a good thing, it gives established giants an even bigger head start.

 

What’s ACTUALLY changing?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The things is, we already had a data protection directive in the EU but it was introduced in 1995 and never really updated properly.

Now that’s a bit bonkers.

Have a think about how far we’ve come in twenty-three years. In 1995, Windows 95 was the pinnacle of computing technology. Mobile phones were huge (literally), heavy and had giant antennas. The PlayStation was a brand new thing.

 

Yup, we’ve come a long way since 1995.

And that rate of change is only accelerating. Just think about your smartphone. How often do you update it? I do it all the time. Why? Because things change — all the time! Software is improved, functionality is added, bugs are fixed.

The GDPR is a much needed and much newer version of our good ol’ data protection directive that was written back when no one really used the internet. To say the old directive was outdated would be an understatement.

In short, the new GDPR legislation ensures that your personal data is protected in a way that makes sense in the digital era and, ultimately, gives you control of who has your personal data and what they can do with it.

The three biggest changes to individuals rights are consent, the right to be forgotten and the request to access data.

Should companies fail to comply, they’ll be facing a bunch of penalties and hefty fines for violating the new legislation.

 

Consent

From now onwards, if companies want to contact you, they must first obtain consent. According to the new legislation, this must be ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous’.

 

 

In other words, when you’re signing up for a newsletter or promotional email it should be crystal clear what you are signing up to and how your data will be used. No more auto opt-in to newsletters and sales emails.

Before GDPR was introduced, we were really starting to feel the effects of years of big corporations bending the rules and reselling personal data. Our email accounts were filled to the brink with unwanted communications and don’t even get me started on cold calls.

 

The right to be forgotten

In a world where data is everywhere, the right to be forgotten almost seems like a treat. You can now require that you are entirely moved from a database, no questions asked. You ask and they delete. Simple.

You also have another new shiny right called the right to data portability. In short, you can demand a copy of what data is stored on you. You ask and they hand over. Simple.

 

Access requests

Technically, data subjects have always had a right to access the data stored on them. But the new GDPR legislation enhances these rights.

Companies will no longer be allowed to charge for processing an access request unless they can demonstrate that the cost will be excessive. The timescale of which process the request has also dropped to 30 days making it even quicker and easier to get your hands on your own data.

 

All the rest…

There’s an awful lot to the new legislation. But I think we all get the overall gist. It’s about making the world a safer place for people and their personal data.

For businesses, there’s an awful lot of internal processes and email lists that are going to take a lot of work to get up to date and compliant — but long term the GDPR is going to benefit us all.

We as consumers will get fewer emails, and only ones we’re genuinely interested in. And business will get better a return on investments and improve their open rates drastically as they will exclusively be sending communications out to their niche audiences.

If you’re still looking for guidance on compliance then take a look at some of the links I’ve listed below. And if you’ve got any questions, fire them over in the comments and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

 

Awesome links:

GDPR: How to know if you should re- permission customers for consent by My Customer
GDPR Compliance by HubSpot
GDPR Checklist by HubSpot

 

Sidse Sorensen
Digital Marketing Coordinator

With experience in tech, startup and the public sector, Sidse brings an unbelievable wealth of talent to the marketing team at Digital Impact. Sidse heads up the internal marketing team at Digital Impact and writes for a wide range of clients and niches.

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