There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with using data. This is a topic that comes up frequently whenever we’re out chatting with future clients. The first thing they want to know is how we are going to protect their data and ensure we’re not putting their customers at risk. It’s a huge responsibility.
As marketing has continued to advance, the scrutiny over how we are able to pull off certain automation and customization practices has also increased. Here in the United States we are governed by privacy and protection laws like the United States Privacy Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Safe Harbor Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These laws all tell us what we can and can’t do with consumer data.
In May 2018, a new privacy law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect across the European Union (EU). While it may not seem like something you need to concern yourself with, if you have any customers from overseas, you do need to concern yourself. Similar to how the CASL regulation in Canada impacted our ability to email market to Canadians, the GDPR is going to impact how you collect online data from our European friends.
The intention of the GDPR is to allow consumers to have more control and knowledge over data collection practices. It allows for additional points of consent and demands explicit permission be given in order to collect and process data for specific purposes.
If you market to EU residents, your entire customer journey and data collection points should be evaluated. You will also need a consent storing practice and policy. A recent global survey by Veritas showed that only 7% of organizations surveyed are confident they will be compliant by the May 2018 deadline.
What has been established in the EU is only the beginning. As our data usage for marketing purposes continues to evolve and strengthen, it is only a matter of time before more parts of the world put rules and limitations in place. Customer privacy has to be an utmost concern whenever we are collecting, storing and using personally identifiable information. It all goes back to our responsibilities; those huge responsibilities we marketers have.
Do you have a GDPR impact? Take the time to evaluate, as the cost are too high for those who make mistakes. Here at B2E Data, we mostly focus on data on the other side of the Atlantic (US and Canada), but know it is important to be in tune with the latest "data news". Contact us if you have any questions or are looking for guidance on how you can use data to grow your business.