Charlotte Baker

Getting to know the basics of GDPR

If you’re a marketer who keeps their ear to the ground, you’ll have certainly heard the rumblings of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The new privacy laws, will soon be with us and with it comes big changes to the way businesses communicate with customers and process their personal information.

Perhaps you’ve already put a plan in place to meet compliance. Or you’re just starting to get your head around things. In this guide, we’ve set out to answer some of the most burning questions surrounding the far-reaching regulations.

What is GDPR?
GDPR is a piece of European legislation that aims to bring every country in the EU up to the same high standard, by improving and simplifying data protection.

The new laws will protect individuals around data control, access and security. It will replace the Data Protection Act in the UK.

When will it come into force?
The legislation is set to come into force on 25th May 2018. All businesses in the EU must be compliant with the new rules on the same day – no excuses.

What is personal data, anyway?
Personal data is any information that can be related to an identifiable person. This can include names, email addresses and phone numbers – all information that would allow something to contact the individual.

How will it impact marketing?
When these four little letters come into effect, they will make a big impact on marketing – from email to web analytics.

All marketers will have to re-evaluate the way they use personal data and how that data is stored and managed. This will require a change in ethos on data protection and progress made towards a commitment to managing data sensitively and ethically.

So it’s important to understand what’s required in order to be fully prepared for the looming changes. For top tips on how to get GDPR-ready click here.

What are the key areas of GDPR?

  • Marketers have greater responsibility and accountability – the new laws will require better housekeeping of data
  • Consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous
  • Individuals have the right be forgotten and withdraw consent for their personal information to be used

You may notice that some principles are similar to the Data Protection Act (DPA).

Keep an eye on our blog for more information about the core principles of GDPR.

What are the potential implications?
There’s no denying it, the new rules will make marketers lives’ a little more difficult for the time being – especially if preparations are left until the last minute.

If the new rules are breached, you may be subject to high financial penalties. Fines could reach €20 million or up to 4% of global annual turnover of the previous year, whichever is highest.

There will also be commercial implications that could affect consumer choice.

What are the opportunities?

Yet while there are potential pitfalls ahead, there are many opportunities too.

  • Raise profile of marketing within your organisation
  • Improve the quality of databases by collecting useful and legally compliant data
  • Generate more targeted email marketing and a database of much more engaged customers
  • Provide a competitive advantage over other organisations

How will Brexit affect things?
There’s been lots of talk when it comes to Brexit and GDPR, and though things aren’t 100% clear, this is what we do know…

GDPR will come into force before Britain will leave the EU. And it’s likely that the UK will have to follow the new laws for some time, before a new domestic legislation is in place.

What now?
Hopefully we’ve answered some of your questions. Now you’ve got a few questions to ask yourself…

How ready are you?
Do you have a plan in place?
What you need to do, how and by when?

The good news, we’re here to help. Call us on 0161 872 1361