Every company has had to abide by the new Data Protection Act 1998 when dealing with personal data, (basically ANY data that contains any personal information, this includes business contact details!) but now there’s a new kid on the block: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR isn’t intended to replace the Data Protection act in whole, but to be used alongside it to further protect users from companies using their personal data unknowingly, as well as replace several existing data laws across Europe.
Despite being first publicised in the EU Official Journal on the 4th May 2016, companies are still very much ‘in the dark’ when it comes to what it means to them. Particularly as this is an EU law, yet if you think the UK won’t be affected because of Brexit… Think again!
Our Government has already integrated this new document into the UK’s laws, so even after Brexit, we must still abide by this, and it needs to be in place by May 2018 – Just 5 months away!
What does this mean for companies?
Not all companies will be impacted at the same level, but there is still a big risk of being fined by the European Union for disregarding the GDPR; so as a business, you need to protect yourself and start implementing the change, as soon as possible before the cut off date.
An example of how many of the companies we deal with will be affected is Email Marketing: The biggest change will be how companies hold the data, what protection you have in place, opt-out options and the most critical ‘opt-in’.
The GDPR makes it so that companies must give users the option to select what type of content they wish to receive by email. Companies are no longer allowed to just get a user’s consent and send them every marketing email. For example, if your email marketing strategy includes sending out newsletters, offers, updates etc, you will have to give the user signing up to your emails the option to select what content they want (just newsletters or both offers and newsletters etc.)
The GDPR will come into full effect by the 25th May 2018, so you have just months to prepare and cleanse your databases!
If you would like help with GDPR compliancy or any element of your marketing, please contact our expert team via the website or call 01246 586330.