What is GDPR and What it Mean to Businesses?
GDPR legislation is scheduled to be fully enforced from May 25, 2018. Just like any legislation of its proportion, it is expected that there will be profound changes in various sectors.
Unarguably, GDPR meaning and relevance is bound to bring about changes in the processes of business and the efficacy of marketing efforts.
While this law is designed to ensure the protection of the personal information from any form of violation or exploitation. Saying that it is expected that there would be a tremendous impact on various businesses and marketers as well.
When you explore the provisions of the legislation, you will begin to discover that the law provides ironclad protection for personal information rights.
Without much scrutiny, it is clear that businesses and GDPR will have a tremendous effect on the way data is protected. From a historical perspective, there was an existing legislation that catered to the protection of individual information.
DPR which stands for Data protection regulation was used to protect individuals’ information. However, the failure of this legislation to meet up with the emerging demands of digitalization necessitated the need for the introduction of General data protection regulation GDPR.
Unlike the former legislation, this new legislation is well equipped to meet the demands of information technology while ensuring that personal information right of individuals is not violated.
The Power of Consent
The emphasis of the new legislation is on the consent of individuals before use of information for any purpose whatsoever.
It is quite common to find that businesses and marketers give customer information to third parties or analyze it for highly targeted marketing campaigns.
While there is a long list of ways in which businesses exploit customers’ information, it should be noted that it is often done without consent.
Unsurprisingly, the reason why businesses extract and process personal information without consent is to bolster the efficiency of the business’s marketing effort and to generate more profit.
Therefore, this new law has made it imperative for businesses to seek the consent of customers.
In addition to the aforementioned provision which focuses on granting permission before personal information is used in any process, there is the provision that focuses on erasing information.
There are many instances in which an individual is no longer a customer of a business but his personal information is still in their database and still being harvested. Essentially, GDPR is centered in giving customers and individuals more control over their information.
The goal is to empower individuals to decide on how their information should be used and more. Just as expected, the various stipulations are designed to provide maximum protection for individuals.
Information Must be Kept Within EU
However, many businesses and marketers will have to make significant changes in their processes, procedures, and systems in order to avoid litigations.
The provisions of businesses and GDPR are contained in the following legislation such as territorial law, which stipulates that personal information should not be disseminated outside EU states. This law is aimed at ensuring that every personal information is kept within EU.
Another stipulation is that businesses should ascertain if they will require a DPO, and if needed, a DPO should be appointed.
The right to consent seems to be one of the high points of the legislation and requires that businesses inform individuals before they extract, process, utilize or disseminate information.
There is the issue of heightened individual right which focuses on data portability and prohibits profiling. Also contained is Data breach notification which demands that any breach of personal information rights should be communicated immediately.
More so, this legislation made efforts to reduce the timeframe for which information violation litigations would be processed. Overall, GDPR is aimed at ensuring maximum protection of individual rights.
Good News for Individuals and Headache for Businesses
While this is certainly great news for most individuals, businesses and marketers will find the GDPR legislation particularly challenging.
The reason is that this legislation would force businesses to make drastic changes and these changes will require money and painstaking effort to implement effectively.
More than ever before, businesses will be forced to comply with the highest standards of individual information protection.
At this juncture, it is imperative that we explore the various ways in which businesses will be affected or impacted by the new policy. It is worth mentioning that there will be positive and negative ramifications for businesses.
Businesses and GDPR Implementation Advantages
So let us begin with the upsides that come with the introduction of GDPR legislation on businesses. One of the major upsides is that companies and businesses that are able to adjust effectively to the provisions of GDPR will definitely earn the trust of customers.
Consequently, such businesses will experience tremendous growth and increased profitability.
Failure to Comply with GDPR Rules will Cause Big Problems
On the other hand, the downsides for businesses that are unable to comply with the legislation are quite many. The foremost downside is the issue of litigation.
Failure to adjust company’s processes and operations to comply with GDPR will certainly attract crippling litigations. Secondly, there is the issue of increased cost of operation which will be felt in all areas of a business.
Some businesses will have to employ a data protection officer. Furthermore, new tools and software will be introduced to ensure that various processes involving customer information are designed to ensure consent is provided.
More so, businesses will have to find efficient ways to notify customers faster in cases of breach or violation of personal information rights.
Ultimately, the impact of businesses and GDPR is that a lot of pressure will be placed to comply with the legislation. In order words, businesses are now shouldering the responsibility of protecting individual information rights.
To make it simpler, businesses and GDPR legislation have forced them to take the front seat in ensuring the protection of personal information rights.
Finally, it is highly recommended that businesses are well equipped to make a full transition in their policies and processes to ensure compliance.
The reason for this is because, more than any other impact that GDPR will have on businesses, the issue of big fines stands out. The legislation made provisions to fast-track the processing of noncompliance litigations.
It becomes abundantly clear that this legislation is designed to hold any business that defaults accountable without delay.
So what does GDPR means for businesses and marketers? The straightforward answer is more responsibility, more cost, and bigger fines.