The digital landscape is forever changing, both in terms of technology and the regulatory standards businesses have to meet while using it. One of the most important updates that occurred in the past 18 months was the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) across the EU that is designed to protect customer information captured by any business online.
Why is GDPR compliance important?
It is now a legal requirement for every business operating within the EU to be GDPR compliant. This means visitors to your website must always be informed about the information you are tracking, the ways in which it will be stored and what (if anything) will be done with it.
Anyone found guilty of misusing data is liable for a fine up to €20 million, or 4% of the company’s annual turnover. This is in the worst case scenario, but either way, your business probably cannot afford to be hit with a large find or any amount in today’s unstable Brexit environment.
This doesn’t just apply to the information you store about customers on your local servers. For example, if you are sending out e-mail marketing campaigns via software like MailChimp that means you are also sending customer data to their servers in America. In turn, you will also have to include those details in any privacy statement you want website visitors to agree to, otherwise you will not be legally meeting the requirements of the new GDPR regulations.
It should also be noted that GDPR only applies to online activity with your website and not your business as a whole. If you wish to increase customer information protection across the whole company, we advise you seek professional legal advice.
However, there are some great online tools that will make life much easier. For example, Rocket Lawyer can help you to create a GDPR compliant template. You can also use plugins like CookieBot, which offers a free tool that scans your website to see if you meet the legal requirements so you know what to do next. It also provides a free WordPress cookie bar plugin, making the process much less stressful on your part.
Get your business up-to-date
There are no exceptions to GDPR compliance, which means no matter how large or small your business, since 25 May 2018 you must be compliant.
Even though the UK is getting ready to leave the EU, the UK government introduced new data protection legislation under the Data Protection Act 2018. GDPR will be also be entranched into UK law as part of the European Union (Withdrawl) Act.
All of the websites we build are hosted in the UK and meet the highest possible levels of security to ensure all company data is fully protected.
We also offer a complete GDPR consultancy service for businesses operating in any sector, so if you are unsure if are compliant, or require expert advice on how to meet GDPR requirements, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.