GDPR: Why it's Essential to your Business

GDPR, also known as the General Data Protection Regulation, has been a hot topic for the past few months. The data protection rules that we’ve come to know and love are dramatically changing on May 25th 2018.

Are you GDPR ready? Businesses of all sizes are coming up with strategies to ensure they don’t compromise customer data and wind up getting hit with nasty non-compliance penalties. If you are yet to consider your GDPR plan, read on to find out why it’s so important.

What is it?

The EU’s data protection rules are about to get tighter, despite Brexit this still includes us UK businesses. In fact, any business that deals with the data of EU citizens need to follow the new regulations. The updated rules give consumers more power in the messaging they receive from brands and businesses by letting them take better control of how their data is used.

The new legislation is more fitting for our digital climate, which has evolved substantially since the current EU Data Protection Directive was adopted in 1995. A lot has changed since then and the introduction of Cloud technology means that it is far too easy for companies to exploit customer data should they so choose.

This also gives businesses a more straightforward process to operate within the single market. If everybody is held to the same standard, there’s less confusion about what is and isn’t compliant.

How does it affect my business?

GDPR will not only change the way your business can communicate with your customers but will affect the way you collect and store their data too.

Conditions for ‘consent to be contacted’ are much more stringent than ever and data must only be used for its intended purpose at the time of collection. Not to mention every organisation must have a dedicated Data Protection Officer who is well versed in proper data protection protocol.

The penalty for non-compliance is a hefty fine of up to £500,000 -  something most businesses could do without. Finding new innovative ways to contact your customer base, while operating within these strict new guidelines is the name of the game for companies big and small.

What can I do?

Depending on your industry, you may need to hire in a team of data specialists to tighten your infrastructure. We’ve noticed our clients have been keen to find quality candidates with strong experience of GDPR and Data Protection to keep their organisations ahead of the game before the regulation becomes enforceable next year.

Building your data team is the best way to prepare for the changes. Be sure to look out for those with certified GDPR practitioner status, as this is essential to the delivery of fully compliant data processes.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore GDPR. It’s the responsibility of organisations of all sizes to make sure all of our ducks are in a row in preparation. GDPR isn’t going anywhere any time soon, it really is better to be safe than sorry when a £500,000 fine is at stake.

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Richard Wootton

8th October

Industry Insight