GDPR Essentials for Businesses: Guide to Address the Compliance Challenge

Businesses across the globe are gearing up for 25th May 2018, the day when European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will finally be implemented. The new law will impact organizations dealing with the personal data of EU citizens. It will impact your business regardless of the fact that your company is located inside EU or outside.

According to recent statistics, about two-thirds of global companies are in need to review their data processing activities to stay GDPR compliant. The standard and regulations set by GDPR are creating concern for companies as its implementation will increase their monetary spend. Moreover, half of the international companies feel that they will not be able to match up to EU’s high compliance standards.

Let’s look into the main facets of GDPR and how Blue Mail Media’s solutions can address the compliance challenges. The following essentials will help B2B marketers in preparing themselves for a compliant future.

1. All Companies Come Under the GDPR Radar

There is no ambiguity of thought when it comes to clarifying that which companies are subjected to GDPR compliance. GDPR states that any foreign company processing and/or monitoring personal data of the EU citizens will have to abide by the new and perhaps the first global data protection law.

As long as you sell or promote your business to EU customers, you are not spared by the GDPR and its strict mandates when it comes to protecting the personal data of its citizens. Inability to do so will cost you a fine worth 4% of your company’s global revenue in a year or €20 million, whichever will be more.

Also, earlier data controllers were held responsible for data processing, but with GDPR, even organizations who work with personal data will be liable to the rules set by this regulation.

2. Definition of Personal Data Widens

GDPR is the expanded version of the requirements and regulations as mentioned in the Data Protection Directive of 1995 concerning the collection, storage, and sharing of personal data of the EU citizens. Unlike the previous directive, GDPR puts particular emphasis on defining what personal data stands for in the new set of regulations.

By ‘personal data’ EU refers to the information that helps to identify an individual directly or indirectly which includes:

  • Personal details including name, email address, phone number, and more
  • Economic and social identity details
  • Health and genetic information
  • Cultural data
  • Gender details
  • Web details such as IP address, RFID tags, cookie data, etc.

3. The power of Data Given to EU citizens

In its attempt to protect the personal data of citizens, the EU has framed the GDPR guidelines and compliance requirements for companies in a way that it will empower customers, individuals, prospects, and employees, and put organizations into the back seat when it comes to leveraging the power of data.

With the implementation of GDPR, individuals will have the following major rights to control and safeguard the use of their information:

  • Ask companies about how they are using their data
  • Withdraw their consent for data usage anytime
  • Transfer data from one service provider to the other
  • Be notified if there is any data breach

4. Hiring a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Mandatory

Under the new rule of GDPR, the appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is compulsory only if:

  • The organization in question is a public body, or
  • If the company’s data processing activities include systematic and regular monitoring of data in large quantity, or
  • In case of dealing with sensitive data and personal information such as criminal offenses and convictions

The primary job of a DPO will be to ensure that the organization they work comply with the GDPR policies and procedures. Also, a DPO should keep the authority and employees informed about the new data protection obligations. Under the new rule, DPO will act as the point of contact for all data privacy-related issues.

5. Businesses Need to Prove Valid Consent

With more importance given to GDPR, enterprises worldwide are finding it difficult to cope up with its compliance requirements. With the regulation in use, getting consent for collecting personal information will not be enough for companies. They will need to prove that the way they have derived the permission from the customer was valid and legal.

Organizations need to specify the purpose of their data use before asking them for consent. With the GDPR in practice, any information obtained from pre-ticked opt-in boxes will no longer be a valid consent.

6. Better Secured Systems

Through GDPR, the EU parliament wants to bring a change in the way data processing and collection takes place. Under GDPR, companies need to incorporate privacy measures even in the design of the systems that process contact data. Privacy by design is the core of GDPR that aims to prioritize data protection not as the aftermath, but as the base.

What can companies do to address the GDPR compliance requirements?

Clean present database

Under GDPR, there is no scope for keeping backdated information stored in your data. If you do so, then you are likely to go against the compliance rules and end up paying hefty fines.

One should perform a data hygiene check to remove any outdated and unwanted records to stay GDPR compliant.

Enrich CRM Data

Have you considered updating your database to chuck out the contact details of those who have opted out from your service?

If not, then before May organizations should pay serious attention to it.

While targeting prospects in EU, you need to check the opt-out list of contacts to avoid bothering them. As after GDPR’s implementation, accessing personal data without the subject’s consent will be considered as against the law.

Companies should try to avoid any discrepancies. And for that, they should enrich their CRM data with up-to-date and verified contact details of EU customers.

Do a thorough check of their data security system

As GDPR gives increased importance to privacy of data and the systems that store and process data, finding and addressing loopholes in their existing system becomes mandatory. Companies need to audit their current security system to find out if their is any non-compliance issue that is putting the data at risk.

Launch Opt-in email campaigns

Once GDPR is applied, the process of getting consent from the customers to use their data gets more stringent and lengthy. Companies also need to document every activity they do with the personal data and also be able to prove the consent as valid under the guidelines set by GDPR.

Hence, this is the best time to develop an opt-in email list comprising contact details of customers who willingly opt for receiving further communication from your brand. But make sure that they are well aware of the purpose their data will serve. What you can do is launch an opt-in email marketing campaign using your present EU database but make sure that the opt-in clauses are in close adherence to GDPR.

Associate with GDPR-compliant Data Vendors

Before GDPR, organizations had no liability on data protection matters. The data processors and controllers were always held responsible for protecting consumer data. But now with GDPR, even companies will be held accountable for the ignorance of their third-party data suppliers or vendors.

Hence, companies can take the help of GDPR-ready vendors to ensure that they never fail to meet the standards set by EU’s new data protection law.

Conclusion:

With Blue Mail Media’s CustomPro solution, all your marketing data needs can be addressed on time and in compliance to GDPR. Explore our broad range of services that can help you optimize data before GDPR hits the market.



Author: Robert Duke
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager and Spokesperson of Blue Mail Media.