Few pointers to prepare for what’s coming next year.
The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation is set to come into effect in May 2018. A wideranging regulation, it will simplify and improve data protection for EU citizens, businesses and residents. However, the scope of the GDPR has created fear among many in the marketing industry, as its implications for online marketing are potentially far-reaching and significant.
How could the GDPR affect online marketing?
Although the GDPR is not quite as severe as many fear, it does affect any organisation or company that gathers and processes the data of an EU citizen.
In terms of online marketing, the key change will be clarification regarding opt-ins, opt-outs and communication consent. Under the new laws, consent to use personal information must be given freely, be informed, specific and unambiguous. Therefore, online marketers can no longer assume consent based on ‘inactivity’ and a pre-ticked box will no longer suffice. Customers must now fully agree that their data can be used and they must willingly opt-in to receive marketing.
Online marketers can also no longer collect data for frivolous or unnecessary reasons, which means the days of handing over personal data through online forms and surveys to receive ad-free content or website access will be over.
What will online marketers have to do?
Any sign-up process to receive marketing must inform subscribers and customers about the brand that is asking for their consent. Online marketers will also have to provide information about the purposes of collecting any personal data.
The right to be forgotten.
Another crucial element to the GDPR is the ‘right to be forgotten’, which gives users the means of accessing and removing their data when there is no legitimate reason for a company or organisation to have it. This will be a big challenge for websites, mailing lists and online networks. Most people have eagerly signed up to websites and social networks, but under the new law, when a user asks to delete the account, they will have the right to request that the company erases all of their data as well.
Preparing for the GDPR
With organisations who fall foul of the new guidelines set to face fines of up to four per cent of their global revenue, it’s important that online marketers prepare for the GDPR by changing their approach to data management, database building and the collection of consumer data before May 2018