Hooray For The General Data Protection Regulations

The DMA states that the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will have “far-reaching” consequences for businesses and will determine how a business manages and protects personal data.

network and data protection concept with padlock and switch

There could be fines of 20million Euros or 4% of the companies worth (dependant on which is more) which will make “getting it wrong” a costly mistake. However, many of the rules set out are not as onerous as previously feared by marketers

A key element of the impending regulation is gaining and maintaining consent. This means only contacting people who have “freely given specific, informed and explicit indication of his or her wishes by which the data subject either by a statement or by a clear affirmative action”. This means many customers may be uncontactable. In addition to this, companies are obliged to re-permission their consent regularly; the DMA suggest at least every 2 years; unless the data is for 3rd party use and then it needs to be every 6 months.

A challenge for businesses will be offering the consumer the transparency discussed in the GDPR. As it enforces the idea that companies need an auditable trail of consent and be able to prove this to the data subject. However, as a policy this is a great way for businesses to build trust with customers and understand what their preferred method of contact is. For some it will be email but for others it will be telephone. Ultimately it will reduce superfluous marketing costs and improve ROI on certain channels.

Transparency is also important as it is suggested that the consumer is becoming more aware of data collection tactics, so the organisation needs to focus on analysis and ensuring they are collecting the correct information to help improve their customer’s journey to buy.

Overall this law will help improve businesses use and maintenance of data and make customers feel safer. The main challenge will be for new businesses who are yet to build a customer base with the tools in place to closely monitor customer data including permissions.

One of the best ways to stay on the right side of the law currently is to perform regular goneaway screenings. These form part of a Data Quality Report and ensure that your data is up-to-date and accurate.

The ICO have created a guide to help companies get ahead of the game with the GDPR called 12 Steps to Take Now. 

You can also see how companies have brought their data quality and systems up to scratch in our Whitepaper Marketers’ Guide to Data Quality: Real examples, compliance & easy-to-implement practices.


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