Simple Steps to GDPR Compliance374761
With the new General Information Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming, you might nicely be one of the many now frantically assessing company processes and systems to ensure you do not fall foul of the new Regulation come implementation in Might 2018. Even if you've been spared operating on a direct compliance project, any new initiative within your business is most likely to include an element of GDPR conformity. And as the deadline moves ever closer, businesses will be looking for to train their employees on the basics of the new regulation, particularly these that have access to individual data.
The fundamentals of GDPR
So what is all the fuss about and how is the new law so various to the information protection directive that it replaces?
The first key distinction is one of scope. GDPR goes beyond safeguarding against the misuse of individual data such as email addresses and telephone numbers. The Regulation applies to any type of individual information that could determine an EU citizen, such as user names and IP addresses. Moreover, there is no distinction between information held on an person in a business or individual capacity - it's all classified as individual data identifying an individual and is therefore covered by the new Regulation.
Secondly, GDPR does away with the convenience of the "opt-out" currently enjoyed by numerous companies. Instead, applying the strictest of interpretations, utilizing individual information of an EU citizen, requires that such consent be freely offered, specific, informed and unambiguous. It demands a good indication of agreement - it cannot be inferred from silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity.
It is this scope, coupled with the strict interpretation that has had marketing and business leaders alike in such a fluster. And rightly so. Not only will the company require to be compliant with the new law, it may, if challenged, be needed to demonstrate this compliance. To make issues even more difficult, the law will apply not just to newly acquired data post Might 2018, but also to that already held. So if you have a database of contacts, to whom you have freely marketed in the previous, without their express consent, even providing the person an option to opt-out, whether now or previously, won't cover it.
Consent requirements to be gathered for the actions you intend to take. Getting consent just to USE the information, in any type won't be adequate. Any list of contacts you have or intend to buy from a third celebration vendor could consequently become obsolete. With out the consent from the individuals listed for your business to use their data for the action you had intended, you will not be in a position to make use of the data.
But it's not all as poor as it appears. At first glance, GDPR appears like it could choke business, especially online media. But that's truly not the intention. From a B2C viewpoint, there could be fairly a mountain to climb, as in most instances, companies will be reliant on gathering consent. Nevertheless, there are two other mechanisms by which use of the information can be legal, which in some cases will support B2C actions, and will nearly definitely cover most locations of B2B activity.
"Contractual necessity" will remain a lawful basis for processing individual data below GDPR. This means that if it is needed that the individual's information is used to fulfil a contractual obligation with them or take actions at their request to enter into a contractual agreement, no further consent will be required. In layman's terms then, using a person's contact particulars to generate a contract and fulfil it is permissible.
There is also the route of the "reputable interests" mechanism, which remains a lawful basis for processing personal information. The exception is where the interests of those utilizing the data are overridden by the interests of the impacted data topic. It's affordable to assume, that cold calling and emailing reputable company prospects, identified via their job title and employer, will nonetheless be feasible under GDPR.