Marketers were gripped with worry and perplexity when European Commission first put forward a proposal for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Finally, after much speculation, the GDPR rolled out on 25th May 2018 in the UK and across the EU.
The regulation entails stringent measures regarding storage and protection of personal data. And non-compliance will result in the abysmal threat of fines and other punitive actions. However, achieving compliance is no easy feat.
The heart of the GDPR is protecting consumer data i.e companies that deal with data on citizens in EU will now have to comply with strict new rules. GDPR aims to set a new standard for consumer rights regarding their data. However, companies are challenged as they strive to make their systems and processes congenial to the GDPR standards.
GDPR Compliance And What It Implies
Businesses operating within the EU and UK are granted with a time period of 4 months to comply with the GDPR guidelines. The guidelines give prominence to customers and provide them with exclusive rights over their own data which entails keeping a thorough check on how the companies are using their private and confidential information.
To alleviate the fears of Global communities who were wary of its implication, the Commission reiterated in cogent terms that it intends to keep cross-border data flow as open as before within the EU.
GDPR not only applies to organisations operating within the convention of EU but also extends to organisations outside EU that deal or offer goods or services to businesses or customers in the EU. This clearly implies that every organisation worldwide that deals globally needs to prepare itself and build a steadfast strategy to comply with GDPR.
The European Commission claims that GDPR is likely to save €2.3 billion per year across Europe. The Commission further claims that by unifying the supervising authority for the entire EU, the businesses will find it simpler and cheaper to deal within the region.
Espousing illegal basis for collecting or processing of data will impinge directly on your business and will eventually have dire consequences. To steer clear of any negative outcome, ensure to use legal basis to collect and process data. Marketers should use customer consent and legitimate interest to ensure GDPR compliance. Moreover, don’t forget that GDPR requires companies to deliver reports citing evidence of legal basis.
2. Make Inbound Marketing Your Holy-Grail
Shift your focus from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. Draw customers to your doorstep rather than going to their doorstep using content marketing, social media platforms, lead generation hacks so on and so forth. When the leads or prospects are coming to you themselves, they often comply with the implied consent or explicit consent. However, remember that GDPR requires “explicit consent” and will not just make do with “implied consent”
3. Focus On Mitigating Third-Party Risks
After GDPR rolled out, the companies are open to the third party risks way more than ever. Say, for example, if a company X is availing the services of some other data-providing company Y, to collect the data of an individual, then it is essential to make sure that the company Y used customer’s explicit consent and used legal basis to collect information. Even if one single partner fails to comply with GDPR standard then all the parties in the value chain will have to bear the brunt. Therefore, ensure to mitigate third-party risks and avail the services of highly credible and reliable companies.
4. Remove Redundant And Old Data
Industry analysts claim that about 70 per cent of the data included in repositories of enterprises is redundant, obsolete or downright useless. Expire this trivial data so that you can mitigate your workload. Now, next step is to classify the data that actually falls under the purview of GDPR.
Data is something that is omnipresent and is growing rapidly with time. Use GDPR as an ostensible reason to organise all the clutter and mine your data which will result in elevating your business in umpteen ways.
5. Secure Your Data
With growing cases of the breach in private data and ransomware attacks for malicious intents, securing data has become an arduous task. From practising preventative monitoring to data backup to spam filters and employee awareness training, use every technique you can to ensure data security resulting in GDPR compliance.
Lest you fail to secure your data you’ll liable to pay a fine up to 4 per cent of your revenue. Furthermore, choose a reliable backup company and constantly monitor your security to stay protected from malicious data attacks.
6. Keep Track Of Your Database Activity
Keeping a trail of your database activities is not only imperative for your business management but works in your favour when it comes to demonstrating GDPR compliance as well. Knowing exactly who extracted what data, for what purpose, when et al, is crucial for accountability, transparency and security.
If your organisation ever gets audited by the EU regulators, having an articulated, documented report will help you pass the scrutiny with ease.
7. Show Evidence Of Your GDPR Compliance
The final and one of the most important step is to ensure that you are able to report and document the evidence of your GDPR compliance and use legal basis to collect data. It is highly imperative to show the regulators that your company is taking all the required steps in order to ensure GDPR compliance. The regulators are bound to take a strident stance against those who haven’t made any effort juxtaposed to the companies who have shown awareness and taken corrective measures to ensure compliance as implied by Elizabeth Denham, UK’s Information Commissioner, who is in charge of data protection enforcement.
For all businesses that hold personal data, the above tips are nothing short of Holy Trinity. GDPR is necessary for this time and age when personal data is exploited without any care for personal gain. Compliance may require the complete reorganisation of your system and processes, however, once applied, these changes might do some good for the company after all. For example, mining your data, organising and doing away with redundant and old data will reduce your workload.
Deepti is a senior content writer with AeroLeads. She spends a lot of time brainstorming ideas and writing marketing and sales content. She also has a knack for writing and reading about politics and prevalent social issues and regularly pens letters to the Editor of The Hindu newspaper. When she is not working, you’ll find her socializing with friends or binge-watching Netflix. (And devouring sushi).