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Understanding GDPR for tech companies




General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation around data privacy and protection was adopted in April 2016 and will be enforced from the 25th May 2018. GDPR gives consumers more control over their personal information and failure to comply can result in very large fines.


For those that work in the world of tech, there are a number of instances where the new GDPR legislation will impact your business strategy significantly:


Opt in?


The ‘soft opt in’ we all regularly experience will no longer be an option. Users will need to provide explicit consent to receive marketing material, whether it’s emails, texts or brochures in the post. You will also need to provide proof that you have consent to contact a consumer, and an auto ticked box will not suffice. By providing content that is valuable, interesting and relevant, you can decrease your ‘unsubscribe list’ and continue to execute successful campaigns.


Cookies


It is also no longer sufficient to display a ‘we use cookies’ pop up window when a user visits your site for the first time. As of May 2018, website will need to provide a route for consent, such as a tick box and email capture, ensuring they have consent to track a user’s cookies. We can see an increase in websites implementing this strategy already, ahead of the deadline, in preparation for the enforcement of GDPR.


Third parties


Third party providers play a pivotal role in digital marketing and it is paramount that you check your suppliers are GDPR compliant. If you use a software or service that breaches GDPR, you may be held accountable for not ensuring the correct processes are in place regarding data you own. We recommend asking any suppliers what steps they are taking ahead of GDPR, and if none are planned, look for a new provider.

 

CRM


Everybody has the ‘right to be forgotten’ and this no longer means writing ‘do not contact’ on your notes. ‘Right to be forgotten’ means just that. You must ensure that any systems you use mean you are able to permanently delete the data of someone who hasn’t consented, with no way to recall it.


By following a few steps, you can ensure your company meets all GDPR regulations:

 

  • Hire a data protection officer to ensure the enforcement of GDPR regulations
  • Review all current data practices and implement changes where necessary

  • Raise internal awareness so all employees understand GDPR and its importance

  • Don’t hold onto unnecessary data and be sure to cleanse all current databases

  • Ensure that data is stored in a format that is portable, and can be sent to an individual upon request

  • Audit all data and ensure consent is explicit


GDPR doesn’t have to cause a revolution within your business. Use this new legislation to streamline systems and ensure good housekeeping, and by following our top tips, you won’t need to worry.




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