Businesses with websites operating in the European Union (EU) must comply with internet regulation policies and the latest of these is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Effective as of May 25, 2018, the GDPR compliance standard keeps European citizens’ data safe while online.
European businesses, as well as those with European digital presences, should be aware of the new GDPR regulations. And what it means for operating their digital marketing and branding ventures.
What is the GDPR Compliance?
The GDPR ruling requires that businesses protect both the personal data and the privacy of EU citizens during online transactions within EU member states. It also mandates control over the exportation of that personal data outside the EU.
While the GDPR compliance is open to interpretation, businesses must contend with what constitutes a reasonable level of protection of citizen data. As more businesses move to digital operations, the GDPR gives policymakers room to assess quality controls and punishments for noncompliance.
One of the hallmarks of the GDPR compliance is that businesses have one central standard to meet within the EU. Before this initiative, the EU had the Data Protection Directive beginning in 1995. This was before the internet expanded to the network it is today. The directive did little to monitor or regulate the storage, collection, or transferring personal data.
GDPR regulations protect private information
The GDPR regulations protect basic identity information, website data such as IP addresses, health, and healthcare information, biometric data, ethnic and cultural data, as well as political and lifestyle orientation information. Under the regulations, IP addresses are considered personal data, affecting server log files and even Google fonts for compliance.
The liability of data affects not only data controllers but also data processors. In short, this means businesses or organizations that own the data as well as data management businesses or organizations. Businesses that use third-party processors who are not in compliance result in noncompliance for the business as well.
Further, digital users must be made aware of their rights as well as the processes the business or organization use for data management and protection. All breaches, by the business or their partners, must also be reported properly.
For small and medium businesses, the new regulation is challenging to figure out. It also requires an investment of time and money. Moreover, there are many components of the regulation that fall into the smallest of digital details. As small and medium businesses outsource their digital needs, it can be difficult to know if a website is compliant throughout all of its’ front and backend processes. Yet, failing to be GDPR compliant comes at a high cost. The EU can enforce fines either up to €20 million or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the previous year.
Why Did GDPR Compliance Arise?
The concern for digital privacy is a growing public concern. Over 7,000 French, German, Italian, British, and American consumers were surveyed under the RSA Data Privacy & Security Report. Lost banking and financial data was the top concern for 80% of participants. Safety of security and identity information, such as passwords and identification numbers, were a major concern for over 70% of those surveyed.
The report also found that over 60% of consumers would blame the companies responsible for data loss during a breach over cybersecurity threats and hackers. Transparency and responsiveness are the key values of consumers that they wanted the companies to abide by. Respondents adamantly admitted that there would be a loss of trust in companies with a breach as it would appear that these companies disregard data protection.
The GDPR regulations will require a lot of difficult work for companies to ensure that they meet the standards. In the long run, they can hope to gain the confidence of consumers and demonstrate goodwill towards data collection and privacy interests.
Is Your Company Affected By the GDPR Compliance?
The GDPR regulations will not just affect EU-localized businesses. A report released by Ovum estimated that roughly 66% of American companies need to reassess their European digital strategies in order to comply with the regulations.
A vast majority of companies see this as a disadvantage to competitiveness. However, more consumers are concerned with the collection and use of their personal data especially as internet algorithms become more complex. Countries such as China already go through rigorous digital regulations. More international institutions are researching ways to keep digital consumers safe while online.
If your business or organization falls under any of the following categories, it must follow the GDPR compliance:
- Your company stores or processes personal information about EU citizens within the EU member states.
- Your company has no presence in the EU. But your company stores or processes personal information about EU citizens or residents.
- More than 250 employees in your company
- Less than 250 employees in your company. But there is data processing or includes sensitive personal data that could impact the rights of those data collection subjects.
How Should You Prepare for the GDPR Compliance?
Being prepared for the GDPR compliance will take some work. It will continue to be a challenge as new digital avenues are expanded.
- First, businesses should run risk management assessments to collect information on the processes they use. They should assess their connection with other data collecting or managing parties, and the personal data necessary to conduct business.
- Next, businesses need to draft new measures to focus on the protection and rights of their data subjects or consumers. Planning how to best prioritize privacy and security concerns as a top priority will help prevent breaches. In addition, it will help to gain the trust of digital consumers.
- Finally, businesses should hire digitalization specialists who have experience transforming websites. They will help you to create profitable digital platforms and acquire the quality standards to be GDPR certified. There are many areas of data processing, collecting, and managing that many businesses often overlook.
Contact Tenba Group to have us review your digital needs with a free website audit for GDPR compliance. Our audit not only checks GDPR compliance, but also SEO and Security. Along with our partnership with eRecht24, a German law office, we can aid your digital journey. We will set you on the right path to avoid GDPR obstacles and fines.
This is Everything You Need to Know About GDPR Compliance
The GDPR ruling is a monumental achievement for internet security for consumers but also for businesses. As centralized standards become more commonplace, it will be easier for businesses to navigate cybersecurity threats that come with a more diverse, open internet platform. Putting the safety of consumer data as a top priority will ensure that consumers continue to feel safe and respected. They can engage with their favorite brands and explore new ones without worrying about data security. Don’t let the GDPR compliance get in the way of successful digital business operations.