GDPR Compliance – be aware!

The manual for GDPR compliance will be open to scrutiny in May 2018. It will have a serious impact on sales and marketing strategies and the handling of personal data. Marketing teams will have to deal with implementing GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation) going forward ensuring they make the necessary changes and adjustments to their ‘modus operandi’ in order to comply fully with regulation requirements.

The new model of personal data will define and elucidate the concept of consent versus legitimate interests. The legalities of the new paradigm will focus the minds of all those involved in sales and marketing on the creation and implementation of future methodologies and strategies they will use in promotional programmes.

A critique of the latest developments in GDPR will raise more questions for the business community as a whole, with particular relevance to Digital Marketing Companies whose lifeblood centres around the collection, use and storage of client-personal data. The onus will be on them to quickly adapt and change in line with regulation. They will have to decide what to automate in their privacy programmes taking into account all aspects of data mapping and vendor risk management. Understanding the new rules of consent and judging how ‘legitimate interests’ compares with other lawful means of handling personal data will be paramount in regulation compliance. Trust will be a major factor with GDPR and eprivacy post GDPR legislation. This will have to be factored into Companies’ policies going forward – including resolving breaches. Cyber security will undoubtedly be intrinsic to GDPR compliance and Digital Agencies will have to adhere to rules and regulations defining technology’s role in compliance. The whole principle of ‘data minimisation’ will require an in-depth examination so solutions and best practice can be garnered to provide the greatest compliance. In reality, Companies will have to formulate strategies preempting and preventing any possible obstacles to their business. The most effective strategy in this scenario is to create a practical and actionable model for implementing GDPR.

In terms of Digital Agencies it will provide  a roadmap for sales and marketing. Personal data will be defined in this context from both a historical and new developments perspective. The whole idea of ‘Subject Access Requests’ in view of the Data Prevention Act versus GDPR will need to be scrutinised closely re developing a policy or strategy to comply with the data rules and regulations. Savvy Companies or Agencies will avail of the opportunity afforded by GDPR to build customer engagement through trust and by creating marketing strategies that will be most productive in customer engagement under the new data legislation. In terms of breaches of compliance digital agencies will have to be fully aware of their responsibilities in ensuring full acquiescence so not to attract penalties and fines for potential breaches.

Marketing departments will need to clearly define and implement transparent marketing strategies and formulate how to sell them to the Company chiefs so they are fully on board. Probably the greatest challenge in this area is how to improve their marketing ‘return on investment’ through implementation of ‘transparent marketing’. Companies will also need to construct efficient measures such as privacy-enhancing technologies to conform with and consolidate GDPR implementation. Specifically, digital agencies will have to embrace those digital tools that will help marketers deal most effectively with the impact of the new legislation on their proposed marketing strategies and methodologies.The most salient issue will be digital agencies ability to use GDPR as an opportunity to development through trust. This is the positive angle on how to manipulate a set of regulations that might seem at worst tergid and oppressive and at best simply more bureaucratic meddling with the existing PDA.

Another area of concern is the new rights  regarding data portability. Companies will need to quickly get up to speed with creating best practice in situations where consumers request the portability of the data. They can comply most effectively by maintaining an efficient compliant marketing data-base. Good data management can prove an asset in preventing GDPR from becoming a potential barrier for effective marketing.

GDPR will have a global reach forcing every organisation to audit how they collect and deal with the personal details of employees, clients and customers. Most Companies are probably already on the road to compliance but will have to ensure their marketing strategies conform to the culture of consent – the essence of GDPR. The key issue of consent which will no longer be simply a box ticking exercise will be a transparent process of specifying all data being collected and informing clients of the real impact the new data can have. The data subject must consent in full awareness to requests for access otherwise the data processing stops. Individuals will be given more power and choice over what information they share and how it is shared. A good word of advice to all business owners is to ensure they make every effort to implement ‘privacy by design’. It is their responsibility to make certain that the handling process of all data protects the higher levels of consent.

In brief, the Key element of GDPR is the necessity for Company awareness of the overarching need for customer/client consent in collecting, using, storing and retrieving their personal data and the ensuing obligation to comply with all regulatory requirements in pursuing and implementing that process.

If you have any questions about GDPR compliance contact our Belfast GDPR training consultants.