The GDPR is European legislation designed to harmonize data protection law across the EU. The intention was not to make marketers’ lives more difficult (although it may seem that way), but to improve the rights of consumers with regard to their personal data and how it’s protected. It imposes new regulations for organizations to protect consumers around data control, access and security, in addition to tougher enforcement for breaches of the rules. The EU hopes the regulation will clarify obligations, make them more consistent across Europe and improve trust among consumers in the way their data is handled. The EU claims simplified rules for businesses will save €2.3 billion a year.
All marketers are likely to be affected by the new rules, so will need to prepare. The biggest shake-up for marketers will be around how personal data can be used for marketing purposes, and how that data is stored and protected, and strengthening the rights of data subjects. Organizations will need to understand what’s required of them, so they’re ready to comply with the rules by the deadline in May 2018.
The GDPR presents marketers with many challenges and some fearsome penalties for failing to meet them. Marketers, especially those who process the data of consumers rather than businesses, face a significant workload to become GDPR-ready ahead of the May 2018 deadline.
But compliance does not have restrictions over business contact information: Company, Job Title, work email address, work phone number, etc. Personal information of any kind that is typically considered very sensitive are health information, political or religious ideology, internet search history, etc. While business information is typically found on a business card, an email signature block, or a public professional profile.
According to Forrester, “Firms will learn to better assess the costs and benefits of records they process, store, and protect. They will progressively focus on collecting, buying, processing, storing, and protecting only the data that offers them the most value and will kill the rest.” Forrester also suggested that privacy should be part of a firm’s DNA and some firms will integrate privacy into brand perception and the customer experience, providing a basis for competitive advantage.