Academy blog

The NPAW guide to GDPR

The new GDPR implementation has been a long-winded and tedious process for many companies but so many are still curious as to what it really means for their business. Here’s the NPAW guide to GDPR.

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was originally established in 1995 and known as the Data Protection Directive. Since then, the way we process data online and the subsequent cloudy terms and conditions have completely transformed the world into a place where we exist just as digitally as we do physically – as does our personal information.

According to the RSA Data Privacy & Security Report, for which RSA surveyed 7,500 consumers in France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the U.S., 80 percent of consumers said lost banking and financial data is a top concern. Also, an alarming 62% of these people said they would hold the business who originally took their data responsible for the damages.

The new GDPR provides consumers with full control over privacy and complete transparency not only of what information is being collected, but what is being done with it. The legislation itself will come into effect 25th May 2018 and contains a lot of information regarding the changes. Here are the main points you need to know about:

Data Transparency and Justified Processing
The biggest change (the one you have definitely already noticed) is the new focus on consent. To fight back against sneaky sign-up forms and hidden terms and conditions businesses must now make it abundantly clear what they will do with consumer information and receive consent from every individual both old and new who have agreed to their data policy in the past.

Right to Access
Any person is able to ask whether their personal data is being processed by the Data Processor (your business) – this includes where, when and for what purpose. Furthermore, you will provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format to whoever requests it.

Right to be Forgotten
Any person may also demand any information held about them be deleted. The public already has access to a form of data erasure, however, this part of the GDPR is designed to make the process clearer.

Privacy by Design
This is something your business may work on already. Your business must make it clear you are committing to GDPR by making sure all websites and external documentation have clear contact information with easy instructions on how to make any claim under this new sanction.


Outside EEA businesses using GDPR 25 May


How can you make your business GDPR-ready?

There are three things you can do to make sure your business is not only complying with the new regulation – but making sure you’re implementing the change in a way that benefits you.

  • Send out an update to all of your email subscribers. Don’t just ask them to click a button to continue receiving updates, tell everyone exactly why this is happening and what your business is going to do to help your customers. Here’s what we did at NPAW to help all of our subscribers understand the new changes.
  • Create a new page for your website all about GDPR. Not only is this going to serve as a huge relief for your customer care team, it’s going to show how seriously your business takes this issue and make your customers feel like a priority.
  • Hiring a Chief Data Officer is something many businesses have been trying to avoid by dividing the responsibilities amongst other employees but GDPR is not done and dusted for a few more years. From now on, how your business handles data protection is going to need to be a priority (if it isn’t already) and that’s going to take specialist knowledge and staff committed specifically to maintaining a great dialogue with your customers regarding GDPR.


What are the benefits for your business?

A chance to put yourself above the competition
A recent survey from data analytics firm SAS found only 49 percent of companies worldwide said they will meet the deadline to comply. This is a great opportunity for your business to make sure you’re in that top 49%. While many companies may be able to get away with towing the line in the future in terms of GDPR, this is only going to have negative consequences and could result in legal issues, reduced customer loyalty, and huge fines.

More accurate data
As we’re all receiving emails from companies we forgot we once followed, this is a great time to start fresh. Yes, your number of subscribers is going to go down but now you know the ones you’ve kept are engaged, interested and open to future sales. If your business prides itself on your six-figure newsletter list then it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow but in the long-run, this is going to guarantee accurate information and make your marketing decisions much more effective.

Reduced maintenance costs
The granularity of collected information means your marketing budget is going to be more personal and therefore more effective. In addition, if your company invests in list emails through legal means, this is now an obsolete mode of data collection and can save your company from focusing too much on vanity metrics like subscriber count and the number of impressions. The final money-saver is being able to delete any inconsistent data or data that is held in incorrect formats. Rather than hoarding every bit of data in case you need it, GDPR is going to streamline the process to make it clear what information you need and what information you’re allowed to have.

Improved customer confidence regarding data breaches
If you are able to follow the steps mentioned above and create a healthy and transparent dialogue with your customers regarding GDPR, you’re going to show that not only do you take the law seriously, but you also take their privacy seriously. Customers will recognize your effort and be comforted by how well you handle the situation. According to a FireEye report from 2016,  76 percent of consumers would likely take their business elsewhere due to negligent data handling practices.



Research & Editorial Team on May 25th 2018

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