What US Marketers Need to Know About the General Data Protection Regulation

Privacy PolicyGDPR was officially implemented on May 25th, 2018. With the deadline past, here’s what US marketers need to know about the 88-page General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

What is GDPR?

GDPR regulates data protection and privacy for residents in the EU. It contains stipulations and provisions pertaining to the processing (acquisition, storage, and use) of personally identifiable information of individuals residing in the European Union. It applies to all enterprises, regardless of size, location or profit-status.

What Companies are Affected?

Because of these regulations, any business that sells products or services to EU citizens is subject to GDPR.

Even if a company doesn’t offer it’s products or services to EU residents, it may want to consider making sure your marketing practices are GDPR compliant. After the events involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, data privacy and protection is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. With all of this publicity, companies like Google could lead to a similar set of regulations in the US.

What are the Next Steps?

  1. Talk with your IT Department — Chances are the IT team has had to review its processes when it comes to GDPR. Coordinating with this department will keep you from doing the same work twice.
  2. Perform a Data Acquisition Audit — How is your business currently receiving or acquiring data from consumers?
  3. Review your privacy policy — Have you been getting a lot of privacy policy update emails? GDPR now requires privacy policies to clearly and explicitly inform consumers of their data acquisition and usage. Review and update your policy to make sure that it uses clear, everyday terms to inform your consumers.
  4. Opt-in Choices — Give your users a choice to “opt-in” to giving you their data. This may decrease the number of users who have personalized experience on your website or lower the number of users on your email newsletter. But theoretically, your conversion rates should increase due to having a more engaged audience.

In conclusion, the GDPR is changing the way in which US marketers collect and use data. For more information regarding what your company should do with GDPR, check out TechRepublic’s GDPR Cheat Sheet.

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