So what is GDPR all about? Jonathan Richmond, Associate Director at insight driven marketing agency, Response One, explains all.
The idea of protecting peoples’ personal data is not a new one. Both the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA) and the 2003 Privacy Act look to do just this. However, with the explosion of digital technology a new set of data protection rules were needed – cue the General Data Protection Regulation Rules.
They mark a complete step change in data governance and although it is being introduced to cover the digital economy, GDPR will also apply to paper based systems. It is not just about consumer data either, employee data is covered, as is anything that is seen as personal data.
GDPR requires that data be:
By far the most important of these from a marketing perspective is the second bullet point. Businesses have been gathering as much customer data as possible, at any opportunity and through often opaque practices for a long time (register to download, create an account etc.). Now, organisations will have to clearly state that they want data in order to undertake specific marketing as well as be clear about when and through which channels they will communicate. Finally, businesses won’t be able to use personally identifiable data to profile or segment customers without their specific authority.
On a corporate level, the most important is probably the last bullet point. Breaches of personal data security that would have cost an organisation £100k might now end up costing many millions if businesses don’t comply and prove that they are doing so. C-level executives and those with system responsibility, particularly in this age of The Cloud, would probably consider this the most challenging aspect.
Importantly, GDPR also requires that
“The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles.”
Meaning that it is not enough for organisations to simply comply, they must actively demonstrate this.
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