GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is something that was designed to help protect consumer data and information within the European Union and will come into effect on May 25, 2018.
Data breaches, selling data to private companies, and unfettered access for corporations of said data are rife within the digital world, the regulations are something that was needed. It should restore confidence in EU citizens that they can rely on companies not to sell their information.
There was a time where users would not think twice about inputting personal information into social media or e-commerce websites. It seemed to be the point of these services.
We wanted to be contactable by our friends and family, but over time we realised that this data was not just for people we knew, but businesses too, under the guise of helping us stay connected. The recent summoning of Mark Zuckerberg following the Cambridge Analytica scandal brought this to even more people’s attention and the internet was flooded with #DeleteFacebook. We didn’t, of course, but it put the focus on what was really happening with our personal data.
The trust has been well and truly broken. If organisations want to recapture this trust, then agreeing to GDPR may be the only solution.
Much like a restaurant that passes its health inspection, a business that complies with data protection regulations is more likely to be trusted. The lifeblood of any company is its customers and its reputation. One cannot exist without the other, and so failure to comply could prove ruinous.
To avoid this, businesses have the chance to take advantage of data cleansing, the removal of incorrect or corrupt data from a database. Businesses want to have as accurate a data set as possible. Having correct data means that these companies can put their efforts into proper market research. It allows them to understand the consumer through legitimate information as opposed to outdated or incorrect information.
Not only does this save time, it also saves administration costs. The automated system (a data scrubbing tool) provides an alternative to the human component and allows the company to focus their energies elsewhere.
Finally, collection permissions, the process of informing users what their data will be used for will help to inform the user what information is going where. When it comes to data, personal data especially, customers want to know exactly what is being distributed to third parties. GDPR gives companies the opportunity to inform their customers what will be done with their data and use it only in ways that would be expected.
Organisations who embrace GDPR will demonstrate to their customers that they care about what happens with their information. This reaffirms transparency in their operations and puts both consumer and company on a level playing field.
If anything, GDPR has offered organisations the opportunity to make their customers happy again. This will only mean positive things for such organisations, if the customer is happy, then the company is happy, too and they can start rebuilding their relationship in this new age of the internet where honesty is the policy.