We’ve been talking about it for a while now and the legislation has been going through changes constantly, but we are now only a month away before GDPR becomes enforced. I hope you’ve been looking at how GDPR is going to affect you because in short…it is going to affect you.
There seemed to be much deliberation about GDPR and if it covered consumers and businesses or just consumers. B2B data is, or at least can be, considered as personal data. Many of us have email addresses with our names set up before the suffix of our organisations email format. We can therefore be identified by that email address and that is why it is considered “personal data”.
One of the biggest things GDPR is moving the data world towards is an opt-in basis. Prior consent will never be more important that it will be from 25th May 2018. If you’ve been collecting your data all along with a clear opt-in that consumers have to action themselves then the chances are your going to be ok. You’ll still need to understand about how you store the data, how long you store it for, how you transfer information from one system to another, even how you communicate internally with your own colleagues if those communications have anything to do with personal information, think handing a CV over to a manager – emailing it over is commonplace these days but you’ll need to make sure it is secure if you do that from 25th May.
As marketers we’ve always been fond of looking at profiling data. If someone is often going out for dinner and eating in restaurants you might currently assume they would be happy to receive emails from your new restaurant, often a relatively safe assumption to make. However, what if they don’t like Italian food, or they are vegetarian and you’re promoting your all you can eat meat feast to them? Consumers will now have far more say in whether or not you can do that.
Storing data is something that will need to be looked at. The ideas behind this don’t seem like regulators or legal bodies trying to make everything harder for you, even though the new changes might mean that. Following several huge, high-profile, data breaches in the last couple of years many people’s data was involved. If companies now store data where it is not possible to identify the consumers, then this means there is extra protection if a breach occurs.
With an increase in consumer control and the new powers they’ll be given and the increase in the responsibility of marketers the moves are all moving towards a far more controlled and transparent data world. It might take some getting used to and it could cause some companies major issues but on the whole GDPR will mean your relationship with your customers will need to be open, honest, give them more control, but will make your own CRM database all the more personal and beneficial for you.