EU – a European Union regulation governing consumer’s private data will gain regulatory power in May 2018. By introducing GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation, the body will impact the way businesses across the globe manage privacy.

The GDPR 2018 takes into account the much-awaited government guidance on how EU member states manage the personally identifiable info. Such a level of regulatory overview of consumer’s personal information is unprecedented and demands the highest level of privacy protection from the companies’ end or – suffer immediate financial consequences.

We have shared some helpful information in this post to help marketers and businesses understand not only what GDPR is, but also find out how it will be implemented, affect businesses, consequences, and precautionary measures to be taken.


How Did GDPR Come Into Limelight & Why Companies Should Be Alert?

EU has announced several parliamentary measures in the past to offer the highest levels of security of consumer’s personal data and GDPR is the latest in the list. The regulatory body says the protection of a natural person with respect to the processing of their personal data is their fundamental right.

While laws of some regions like the United States are more inclined towards businesses, the EU has always favored a ‘consumer-first’ opinion. The EU is more protective about consumer privacy and has been for many years. With the introduction of GDPR, it seeks to execute globally with a more comprehensive and broader law backed by serious fines and legal consequences. The fines might account for 4 percent of the total global revenue of a company – which is enough to cripple any business that is found breaching the policy.


How Will European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Affect Business All Over the Globe?

Knowing the user data can pass beyond the borders of the EU, the GDPR data protection seeks to protect all EU citizens regardless of where the data travels. It implies, any company, located anyplace, with a database of EU citizens should abide by its rules.

In short, the business of all size with EU citizen is bound by GDPR – no matter micro business or a multinational brand. To comply with the regulation, companies have two possible options – they can either block all EU users from using their product/service ( which might be an unrealistic option for a multinational brand) or adjust their policies and processes to comply with the new rules.


What Does GDPR Entail

GDPR aims to protect user data in every way. It operates with a point of view that data collection and processing offers the search engine the majority of businesses run on. However, it rigidly aims to protect user data throughout each step and serve the consumer full control over their data and how it is processed.

To be GDPR-compliant, a company must handle its consumer data with care and offer different ways to consumers to check, control, monitor, and even delete their personal information whenever they want.

Being GDPR-compliant means the companies are giving their users authority over their info and taking all measures to protect their rights. Protections are all about processes and communications that must be simple, clear, and concise and executed only after explicit and affirmative permission of the data subjects.


How Does GDPR Plan to Protect Consumers’ Right?

Heavy Fines – Breaching can result in up to 20 million Euros fine or 4 percent of annual global turnover. There are some infractions that may cost little less, yet are still significant.

Compulsory Breach Notification – Any data breach means a risk for the consumer’s rights and freedom. So it must be immediately reported within 72 hours of finding it. Data processors should notify the customers without any delay as soon as the data breach is discovered.

Broad Jurisdiction – EU General Data Protection Regulation applies to all companies and businesses with EU citizens, no matter where they live.

Simple and Clear Consent From Data Subjects – All consents required from the data subjects should be simple, understandable, and written telling the purpose. There should be a way to reverse the consent in case required.

Better Systems and Processes – GDPR operates on the model of ‘privacy by design’, which means the processes should be built with data protection as the core aim, and not as just an afterthought.

Copy of Consumer Rights – The data subjects should have the right to get copies of their personal data and info on how it is processed and the right to be forgotten (also called Data Erasure). Moreover, customers should be able to move their data between service providers.

More Protection For Children – As kids are more vulnerable and less concerned for risks, the GDPR 2018 includes guidance parental consent for some services for children below the age of 16.


What Can Companies Do?

Here are a couple of things companies can consider when planning to prepare for GDPR:

Employ a Dedicated Data Protection Officer (DPO): The GDPR puts the liability on data processors and controllers, so there must be a data protection officer to look after all the operations. Compromising some cost for the reputation and revenue of your company isn’t a good idea. To comply with GDPR, consumer info must remain private and safe, and hiring a professional officer to take of the matter is worth any risk.

Advanced Privacy Tools: The companies are coming up with new solutions to keep up with the rule. To stay compliant, you can work data protection officer and IT team to create a solution that works best for your product/service.

Audit Data Security System: Another good way to guarantee compliance with GDPR is to execute a thorough audit of your existing data security system and fix any loopholes and issues before there’s a breach and you suffer the penalty.

Integration of IT and Marketing Teams: Pretty soon you may need to rely on your IT department for much more than dealing with cybercrime and monitoring & implementation of new strategies. Integrating the two fields will help you come up with the best solutions to stay compliant with GDPR meanwhile not compromising your businesses for the same.

Train Your Staff: While the main responsibility is on the shoulders of your security staff, any individual who handles info or is indulged in the process must be educated about GDPR.

Hire Third-Party Providers (who are GDPR-Compliant): From your email service provider and CRP service to marketing and PR agencies – you can be at fault due to breaches made by the processors you work with. So you should make sure the data processing is in compliance with GDPR in every aspect.


Are You Prepared?

While this post will help you prepare for the general data protection regulation, there’s still no solid clue as to whether companies are all arranged for the change or still baffled. The best you can do is stay updated and follow all the measures to comply with the general data protection regulation.


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