What GDPR Means for You, Your Company, and Your Agency

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The EU General Data Protection Regulation – better known as the GDPR – has enforced new requirements to increase the transparency of how personal data is collected, used, shared, and protected.

Before you think to yourself, my company does not serve in the EU – the new GDPR requirements will have an impact on all companies. Search engines are used internationally, and if any content from your website appears in a search someone is making within the EU, you may need to take action. In this article, we’ll discuss how the GDPR will impact users, companies, and marketing agencies.

How The GDPR Benefits You as a User

As an individual surfing the internet, your browsing habits, page visits, and some personal information can all be gathered and used by businesses. Although the information collected is anonymized, increased scrutiny into the possible invasion of data collection for marketing has led to the GDPR providing users more protection of your personal data.

As a user, here are some ways you can take control of your information:

    • You are in control of giving a company consent to collect your data.
    • You can take away their consent to collect data at any time.
    • You can even request to see the data they are collecting about you.

The GDPR and Your Company

As a company, you need to take the appropriate steps to comply with the new GDPR policies. EU companies and companies outside the EU have a deadline of May 25th, 2018 to comply. Companies that do not comply by the deadline are subject to fines and/or penalties depending on the severity of the violation. Although most legislation affects companies in the EU, be sure to consult your legal team to insure proper requirements are taken whether you do or do not serve in the EU area.

As a company there are many benefits to being GDPR compliant:

    • You will have a better understanding of your customer’s data and how it is managed. In order to be compliant, your privacy policy must provide a detailed and easy-to-comprehend outline of how user data is handled and utilized. During this process, as a company, you can clean up any data you may have retained that does not have any business value. This can also help ensure you are storing and handling any sensitive data such as personal client information properly.
    • You can use the GDPR new requirements to strategize processes to increase return on investment (ROI). Having an opt-in policy on your website and having individual users provide consent may help fine-tune clients and/or potential leads that want to hear from your company.
    • By taking action to be GDPR compliant, you will increase user trust and brand loyalty. Customers will know they can trust you with their browsing behavior.
    • In general, the GDPR provides an opportunity for you to protect your company. By implementing and/or reviewing current processes for securing personal data, this can help your company take the right steps to prevent potential violations of the GDPR. Data privacy is not something that should be placed on the backburner, and the GDPR can help create or maintain a sensible security workflow.

How The GDPR Impacts Your Marketing Agency

As an agency, with all the changes and new requirements with the GDPR, this is a time for you to continue to build on client relationships by educating your clients about the GDPR. This education should include but should not be limited to privacy policy updates, form and cookie consent agreement, and the impact it may have on future marketing strategies.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Google Analytics has launched new Data Retention controls that will affect your data starting May 25th, 2018. Contact your Account Administrator to have them review your settings. Learn more about Google Analytics Data Privacy and Security.With the default data retention control, some advanced report options could be lost to you and your client.

In conclusion, the GDPR is simply trying to protect all individual user data. It provides protection for users, knowledge and competitive advantages for companies, and creates new marketing strategies for agencies. The GDPR should not be taken lightly, and doing the bare minimum to comply will not benefit anyone in this situation. Take action now as the GDPR is your opportunity to make a difference and transcend.

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