You have probably started noticing lots of talk of GDPR on social media and across news sites. But what is it and what does it mean for your business? In this post, we’ll take a closer look.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR is a new framework for data protection laws in Europe. When it is implemented on May 25 2018, it will replace the existing 1995 data protection directive.

GDPR will change how personal data can be used and outline new rules for how businesses can legally obtain, store and use their customers’ data.

Who will be affected by GDPR?

All companies and individuals who are deemed to be ‘controllers’ or ‘processors’ of personal data will be affected by GDPR. Personal and sensitive data will be covered by GDPR, including sexual orientation, addresses and political views.

As a business owner, GDPR will make you more accountable for the way you handle your customers’ data and personal information.

What should my business do to prepare for GDPR?

With almost six months to go before GDPR is introduced, there is plenty of time to start researching how GDPR might affect your work processes and make sure that your business is compliant.

An example of how GDPR might influence your day-to-day business includes the collection of email addresses for marketing purposes. Under GDPR you must always get explicit consent before sending someone a marketing email. You must also be able to prove that they consented and keep a record of exactly when and how they gave consent. This will typically involve making sure that any contact forms and registration forms on your website have built-in permission tick boxes.

Access your data

GDPR also empowers individuals by giving them greater freedom of access to information that’s being held about them. Requests for personal information will be free of charge and must be granted within one month of application.

Fines

Businesses who fail to comply with GDPR could put themselves at risk of fines running into the millions of pounds.

Learn more about General Data Protection Regulation

Want to find out more about GDPR and your obligations as a business owner? The Information Commissioner’s Office has put together a guide to the new legislation – Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – 12 Steps to Take Now.

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