GDPR: Dream or nightmare?
GDPR: All nightmares are dreams, but not all dreams are a nightmare.
So why not cure that anxiety and turn it into a nice dream?
On one hand, a customer would translate this into a beautiful succession of feeling secure, being better informed and having new valued rights. On the other hand, for you it might mean a combination of never heard of files, fines and shrunken email databases. A true nightmare, isn’t it? By the 25th of May,we aim at turning the GDPR into a nice dream for our sake, the digital marketers. In order to achieve that,we’ll tackle what most of us are nervous about during the compliance process.
The GDPR kind of dream translates through a greater emphasis on documentation. All the policies and procedures you are confronted with have to be reviewed or completed in detail from start to finish. And you have to be able to provide them at any time.
But fear no more, maybe more than ever, the EU and other authorities such as the Privacy Protection Commission of Belgium (in Dutch or French) or Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK provide us with generous toolkits to make self-assessments and achieve the know-how of data protection. You don’t know what your register of processing must contain? The law is meant to be comprehensive and give you the answer, but a second remedy is to “Google it”, identify the viable sources to follow and start documenting your activity.
FINES AND PENALTIES
Another popular myth is that GDPR equals fines, which instills fear between companies who process data. You might already know that the regulation now lets authorities to issue significant fines (and not only warnings) to any entity that processes personal data.
Despite this, fines are a last resort solution and result from big infringements such as data breaches or transferring data to a country with a non-adequate data protection level. Hence, it is more likely to firstget a warning and not a fine. To prevent such effects, the quickest way is to respect the given guidelines.
As a digital marketer to another, we know that this is one of your biggest fears. Are your palms sweating when you find out your email database is about to shrink? It’s a normal reaction when you have a bad database hygiene, comparable to the lack of a good sleep hygiene.
To decrease the risk of nightmares, implement personal data research rules, be transparent with the user concerning his data rights or launch an innovative campaign to reconfirm your customers’ subscription through a GDPR compliant method. Not only will this reactivate some of your customers, but it increases your database accuracy, reduces storage costs and might bring you more qualified prospects.
I STILL DON'T THINK I CAN HANDLE IT
If the GDPR is making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep because you don’t know how to handle it efficiently, it’s worthwhile appointing a DPO (Data Protection Officer). A true remedy, he will be responsible of implementing the data protection strategy and offer guidance to your team. Like a therapist, he will accompany you during the whole process. However, you will still be the final responsible with the compliance.
Most importantly, don’t feel embarrassed to bring the issue up — it’s common due to the novelty of this regulation. Ignoring the elephant in the room will make it more likely to have a bad sleep. Our best remedy is to start having “healthy” habits in your data processing instead of turning the law into a task to check during your projects. You’ll rest better at night.
In the long run, GDPR is a soothing win-win solution. Customers will no longer receive mass mailing, be confronted to opt-outs or vague policies concerning their rights. Of equal importance, you’ll increase your business reputation, customer loyalty and create a trustful environnement.
Disclaimer: We are digital marketing experts. We are not scientists, nor legal advisers. But if you are in doubt with your services’ GDPR compliance, we might be able to offer you services tailored to your needs.