Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. As data and marketing professionals we are quite used to players in the technology market using these emotions to promote their solutions. The latest vehicle for this ‘FUD’ is another ‘initialism’ GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation. It has even been characterised as the new Millennium Bug.
In this case however, we are forced to admit, that there may be some justification in a little fear. You see, this regulation has teeth – and sharp ones. However, before you start running to the hills – or indeed running away from your advisors and their protestations of having the panacea – let’s take a rational look at the highlights of GDPR, and what you can start doing today that will put you in a better position tomorrow.
What is it and why should you care?
This article sums it up particularly well: Law Gazette – New EU data protection regulation
No part of the business will be able to hide from the impact of GDPR. It’s a big and thorny challenge and not just one for the security team. When your legal counsel, your internal audit or your COO makes the phone call and asks you where the data is, what will be your answer? This is a challenge for IT and marketing as well.
If it’s your job to wrestle with the organisational impact of this regulation, then please start asking the data questions now. Better to know the scale and complexity of the challenge sooner rather than later.
If it’s your job to know where the data is and who you’re marketing to – then please start thinking about your data source catalogue and your data governance policies and controls today.
Compliance is one thing. However, if you do this right then GDPR could be the catalyst for very positive outcomes in your business as well. The organisations that are at the vanguard of a response to this challenge will, we predict, be seen as innovators, as brands with a social conscience, protecting their customers and embracing the new commercial paradigms more fully.
Plus, there has always been a strong business case for better information management, solid information governance and sensible information lifecycle management – all of which you will need to explore as part of your response to GDPR.
You can start small, but start soon.
Written by Dominic Bridgman
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