General data protection regulation compliance conditions

GDPR has been the buzzword on everyone's lips for the past few years, but what exactly is it and how does it affect your online store? GDPR is an abbreviation for General Data Protection Regulation, it’s a european legislation introduced to protect individual's personal data. Modern advancements in technology, the foreword of social media and internet appeal resulted in the older laws becoming out-dated fast. The idea of the GDPR was to override the previous data protection laws, which makes it much more simplistic for businesses to follow. GDPR forces organisations to look introspectively at their processes

Consumer

GDPR carefully considers the consumers right to portability and erasure and aims to give power to the people. In terms of what’s changed for a consumer, they must be allowed to request data, update their data and remove it. GDPR provides all users in Europe data protection and privacy.

GDPR also affects the email side of online business, as the organisation must give the user the option to opt out to all marketing emails and also the option to opt in as-well.

Cookies for consumers

There’s no doubt you have some knowledge of cookies, but do you know what they do and why they are there? Well, essentially, cookies are used on websites so the organisation can track you whilst you are on their site. It’s so they can use your information to aid their online business strategy. It’s important to know that the GDPR protects you from this, should you want to remain private. Pop up boxes should appear on websites using cookies, which give you the option to opt out, or opt in, and if a business doesn’t give you this pop up box they aren’t complying to GDPR.

Organisation

The new laws affect organisations the most, especially when failure to comply can land you in an unimaginable situation. Businesses must know what data they’re collecting from their customers, how it’s being used and where it’s stored. Organisations are now deemed more reliable as they are forced to be transparent with their customers and employees. As a business everyone involved should know the data protection strategies in place at their company.

Organisations that aren’t in Europe don’t have to comply to these regulations UNLESS they have customers based in Europe. In which case they must comply with GDPR.

Cookies for organisation

Businesses can use cookies to remain compliant with the GDPR rules.

Installing and displaying a cookie policy on your website is probably the easiest way to comply inline with the strict GDPR rules, there are hundreds of free templates out there that allow you to just fill in the relevant information such as personal details.

Along-side displaying a cookie policy, organisations should display a cookie pop up box on their websites, which give the user the ability to opt in or opt out.

Risks of non compliance

Failure to comply will result in massive fines which could vary from 17 million euros or 4% of the companies annual turnover. Despite harsh consequences statistics from February 2019 show that 37% of businesses are failing to be complaint to the new legislation.

How can your organisation ensure compliance

  1. Hire a data protection officer

A data protection officers job role is to ensure the business is compliant to the GDPR legislation, they are responsible for overseeing the company's data protection strategies.

2. Create a data protection plan

Defined, labelled and controlled. Businesses would benefit both from a compliance and an organisation perspective by implementing a data protection plan. It means that all the employees are clear on the data protection strategy and it would reduce the mistakes made by employees that weren’t aware of the strategy to execute inline with GDPR.

3. Quarterly compliance assessments

Businesses could set their employees quarterly compliance assessments to ensure their knowledge of GDPR is up to scratch! Alternatively they could set them to undertake a free online course for GDPR, which is discussed later in this blog!

4. Cookies

We don’t mean the gooey american chocolate chip ones either! Whilst implementing cookies into your website ensure you have all the cookie policies and pop ups in place to protect yourselves.

5. SSL certificates

Having an SSL certificate installed onto your website will not only improve the security but its a step in the right direction to GDPR compliance.

Benefits of GDPR

1. Consumer confidence: The consumer should have no concerns when it comes to trusting businesses online with their data as there are regulations in place. This will have a direct impact on the sales a business manages to attain.

2. Data security: With well established rules on how you should manage and use data, it means it's more secure. The risk of data going missing or being destroyed is decreased as all the employees are conscious of the data protection processes.

3. Easier to do business internationally: Businesses in the USA still have to comply to the GDPR rules, which means that consumers in the EU can do business overseas with no issues.

Are you still struggling to grasp the concept of general data protection, we suggest checking out this free course which goes through the intricacies of GDPR.

Despite the negative stigma associated with this new legislation, it’s actually amazing for your customers and you as a customer. It reinforces the fact that privacy is a fundamental human right. Are you unsure whether or not your business's website is compliant? Get in touch with the team today on 0113 350 6099!

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