On May 25, 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. If you’ve been wondering why your inbox has been filling up with updated privacy policies and terms and conditions, the GDPR is why. Here’s what you need to know about GDPR.
What is GDPR?t
Very simply, the GDPR is a law that protects the digital rights of consumers within the European Union. It’s designed to allow users greater access to and say over how companies store and use their data. It also requires companies to ask and get consent before they use that data in any way (that means your business can no longer rely on the consumer to “opt out” if they don’t want to receive your emails). If the consumer requests that their data be deleted, the company must comply.
Although these rights don’t affect other countries (consumers living in the United States, for example, won’t benefit from GDPR), some companies have decided that it’s easier to be GDPR-compliant. Additionally, if a US company serves global clients, they must be GDPR-compliant.
Do I have to read all those emails?
Generally speaking, you do not. The companies sending opt-ins for communication are doing so to err on the side of caution: Those companies found to be non-compliant can be fined up to $20 million or 4% of their annual revenue (whichever is greater). As a consumer, feel free to unsubscribe or delete.
Should I update my business privacy policies in order to be GDPR compliant?
Overall, the GDPR applies to businesses in two categories:
- If you are a business within the European Union.
- If you are a business outside of the EU but serve clients within the EU.
The companies which are most affected by the implementation of GDPR would be those who are in the marketing, tech, and financial industries. If you’re intentionally targeting or providing a service to consumers within the EU, your terms and conditions as well as your privacy policies must align with the regulations set forth by the GDPR.
We’ve provided a very basic overview of what you need to know about GDPR. If you have any questions regarding GDPR, contact us today to see how we can assist you.