Are you ready for GDPR?

Kate O'Sullivan is MD at ADPR

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25 2018 and it holds significant implications for marketing.

The first is regarding opt-ins, opt-outs and ‘consent’ regarding communications. The GDPR states that consent must be ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’ and articulated by a ‘clear affirmative action’. That means you can’t assume consent based on ‘inactivity’ and a pre-ticked box isn’t going to cut it.

The second is the much-discussed right to be forgotten. This is designed to give consumers more control over how their data is collected and used – and this means giving them options for accessing and removing their data.

The third change is about how businesses process personal data. This will necessitate better housekeeping on the parts of marketers – and less collecting data for unnecessary reasons.

Failure to comply with GDPR will lead to big fines - either €20m or 4% of global annual turnover (whichever is greater).

While it will take some work to get businesses fit for GDPR, overall we think the legislation is a positive step. It’s an opportunity for businesses to communicate more effectively with those consumers that are genuinely interested in your company, rather than wasting effort on consumers that don’t care about your brand or products.

Finally, we advise you to put the effort in now. Educating your team, adjusting your systems, and reordering your strategy for full compliance will take resource - both people and financial – allocating the effort now will result in you being in a far stronger position come May 25.

Kate O'Sullivan is MD at ADPR

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