GDPR, in a nutshell, is a list of regulations for the handling of consumer data. Why is everyone talking about it? Some golden rules that concern European companies changed on 25th May 2018 and it’s changed a lot of aspects for many businesses. It’s important that businesses adapt ,themselves to abide by these rules, or they’ll receive a hefty fine. GDPR regards any data that is personal to somebody. A common misconception is that the data concerned by GDPR must be ‘private’ data; however, GDPR specifies that it concerns any data associated with somebody. This includes comments on any social media, email signups, traffic data plugins and contact forms.

All of this is a lot to remember and can be a nightmare for a business to deal with, as processes sometimes must be changed and this can cause inconvenience. However, GDPR will bring a new level of transparency into collecting, storing and using other people’s data. Condensing the rules is one of the simplest ways to get your head around it:

Obtain Consent

‘Who even reads the terms and conditions anyway?’ You may have said before. This is usually because they are about 50 pages long in the smallest font size you can imagine – it doesn’t look like a great read. You may be relieved to know that businesses aren’t allowed to do this anymore. A businesses terms of consent must be painfully obvious to whoever’s reading them, and it should be easy for people to withdraw from them whenever they please.

Timely Breach Notification

If you do breach the rules, you have 72 hours to report the data breach to your customers. If you choose not to do this in the given timeframe, your company will be hit with a VERY hefty fine (which can be up to 20 million euros depending on the size of your company). So, it’s probably best to listen carefully if you do end up getting a warning.

White Caution Cone on Keyboard

Electronic Copies of Data

Users now have the right to be given an electronic copy of all the data your company has collected about them and how you’ve been using their information. This is an important one as it gives customers the power to ask about their data and be guaranteed an answer by companies. This will affect the way you look after and store an individual’s data, as it needs to be quick and easy to access.

Data Deletion

Customers have the right to ask you to remove their data from all your systems indefinitely. This is known as ‘the right to be forgotten’. This stops companies being able to hold people’s data for years on end and removes the temptation to use it in a way they shouldn’t. This may help keep your databases cleaner, and consequently more efficient.

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Privacy by Design

This rule means that whenever designing a new website or using a new system from 25th May 2018, you will have to have appropriate methods of data collection before it can go live. This has been put in place to stop anything dodgy going on in the future and to make the business world a safer place for consumers.

Gold-colored Abus Padlock With Key

If your business doesn’t comply with GDPR rulings, it will be struck with a sizeable fine. The extent of these fines depends on the offence and how you’ve gone about trying to rectify your actions. The key for businesses is to review all their existing data and processes as soon as possible and aim for a transparent, GDPR-friendly company.

It’s not all that bad though. Transparency of your business is a major benefit and will improve how customers feel about your brand and the way they go about trusting it. You may find that your business now needs to spend more money on compliance with these new laws. However, this should be looked at as an investment and you should try and embrace the changes. GDPR is a complex topic and requires some time to go through legalisation. It has given the consumer far more power over their data than ever before, but businesses can take this as an opportunity to ensure their customers are better protected against data breaches. The main thing GDPR requires is a change of attitude towards data.

If you are interested in any of the services Pet Subjects offer or need some guidance on the new rulings, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01276 858 880 or read more about our specialities here.

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