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Six Core Principles For Businesses To Ensure GDPR Compliance

1/23/20 7:00 AM

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As you launch into the new year and start planning your digital marketing strategy for 2020, you’ll want to also have a plan in place to ensure you’re compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

The GDPR is loaded with lots of information, making it difficult for businesses to fully understand and comply with the regulations. The Horizon 2020 Framework Program of the European Union has dedicated an entire website to break down all the little details about it. And while we won’t get into the nitty-gritty here, these 6 core principles will serve you as a foundation and will help you start developing a plan for your company.

Data privacy is a complex matter

With Data Privacy Day coming up on January 28th, there’s no better way to celebrate than to ensure your company is compliant with the GDPR, which means it’s vital you understand what the GDPR is and how it pertains to you.

If you’re working with international clients you must take this into account. While this data privacy and security law was passed in Europe, anyone that collects data from people in the EU, regardless of where they’re based, must follow the GDPR rules.

Data privacy takes analysis

Analyzing and understanding the data your company collects and stores will help you determine where the GDPR applies to you. With this understanding, you can start implementing steps to ensure data privacy compliance, like updating your privacy notice or creating new policies. But before you start taking these necessary steps, dive into all your data and figure out what you’re working with in the first place.

Data privacy requires answers

The GDPR not only requires you to know what type of private data you’re collecting, it also requires knowing why you are collecting it. Is there a good reason for you to collect and store this information? Or for how and why you use it the way you do?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll want to make sure they’re clearly stated in your Privacy Policy. This way, when people come looking for your products or services, they’ll understand how their information is treated in a transparent way.

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Data privacy is all about protection

The GDPR clearly states that all personal data your business collects must be protected at all times and adhere to specific guidelines. Once you understand them, it’s important for all your staff members to understand and follow them as well.

From what data privacy is to the measures your company is taking to ensure it, you need to get everyone on the same page. Doing an all-staff training is an easy way to get the information out. And even if — fingers crossed — there is never a breach in your data, you still want to have a protocol in place if that were to happen.

Data privacy is a full-time job

In some cases, in order to follow the GDPR, companies may need to hire a full-time Data Protection Officer. Do you fit into one of these three categories?

Even if you don’t need DPO to be GDPR compliant, it’s a good idea to designate a go-to person who will be in charge of ensuring data privacy across your organization. This person should not only manage it within the company but also work with third-party vendors who may have access to your data, securing there is a policy and agreement in place about how the data can and should be treated.

Data privacy demands easy access

For the right person, of course.

Even though we don’t want everyone to have access to our databases, the GDPR makes it clear that individuals need to have easy access to their own personal information. So if you’re not sure how compliant you are in this area, answer this:

Is there an easy way for people to...

  • Have access to the data we have about them?
  • Update or correct their data?
  • Ask us to stop processing their data?
  • Request to have their data deleted from our databases?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, the time is now to make this a priority — just make sure the “bad guys” don’t have easy access as well!

Guaranteeing your business is fully compliant with the GDPR is important since there are substantial fines for those who don’t follow the law. 

You can learn more about any of these principles with this complete guide to GDPR compliance or by contacting our team of marketing professionals for a deeper assessment.

Lydia Mattern
Written by Lydia Mattern

Lydia Mattern is a creative writer living in California. Her web writing experience expands across several online publications and non-profit organizations. Her expertise is in creative writing, storytelling, editorial work, social media and marketing.

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