Are you ready for the new General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR)? You may have noticed an avalanche of articles and social media posts recently, warning of its upcoming arrival. If not, this isn’t something you can simply ignore. It will affect email marketing campaigns, and the guidelines for privacy policies too.

The changes won’t take effect until 2018, so you have plenty of time to get ready. Stay put, because we’ve put together a brief introduction to GDPR and looked at how it might affect your business. 

What is GDPR?

On the 25th of May 2018, Europe’s existing data protection laws will be replaced by a new framework – the General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR will change how personal data can be used and is designed to update existing data protection laws which have not been drastically changed since the 1990s. The way we use, create and exchange data has changed a lot in the past few decades, so the way we handle and protect this data must change too.

GDPR is a necessary evolution of existing data protection laws and will ensure that the general public, businesses and public-sector organisations benefit from a harmonisation of data privacy laws across Europe. It aims to protect our personal data and punish organisations who misuse it through the enforcement of fines and penalties.

What does it mean for my business?

GDPR will give people more rights to access information companies hold about them and outline new rules for how businesses manage their data.

Businesses and individuals who are either ‘controllers’ or ‘processors’ of personal data will be affected by the GDPR. From the way you obtain personal information to the way you use it and store it, GDPR will tighten up the rules to ensure greater data privacy and protection for individuals. This means that you will have to take greater responsibility for the way you obtain and handle data you receive from your clients and customers online.

Examples of how GDPR will affect businesses

The GDPR is complex, so it’s not possible to list here every single way it will affect your business. However, here are some of the major areas:

  • Email marketing – Recipients of your email marketing materials must have given you permission to contact them and you must also be able to show when and how they did this.
  • Privacy policy – If your site hasn’t got one already, you will need a privacy policy in order to comply with GDPR. Failure to provide one could lead to a fine.
  • Opting out – You must make it easy and straightforward for people to opt-out of your marketing materials. The simplest way of doing this is to provide a contact email or contact number on all your marketing correspondence.

Where can I find more information about GDPR?

Want to learn more about GDPR and how it will affect your business? The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has released a 12-step guide to preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation. In it you will find practical tips for dealing with the arrival of GDPR.

Get in touch

At Bing Digital our digital marketing experts can help you navigate the introduction of GDPR and ensure that your marketing and advertising is compliant. Get in touch to speak to us about GDPR and what it means for your business.

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