GDPR: the ticking bomb of the data world
‘’the glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money’’
Thomas Jefferson, 1773
‘’If businesses are not currently thinking about GDPR, they’re already too late, and the consequences will be enormous.’’
You might think that this was said to me in the past few weeks, but it was not. A renowned cyber-security expert told me this nine months ago.
This gives you an indication of just how colossal the changes being brought about by GDPR are. The date May 25th, the beginning of a new era of data protection, is forcing businesses to be much more accountable and protective of the information they hold. Furthermore, you as a consumer need to be more mindful of how you pass on critical information about yourself.
The GDPR regulations include any information related to a person such as a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, updates on social networking websites, location details, medical information (such as being a diabetic or wearing glasses), or a computer IP address.
So what about my privacy?
We shop via Google, land on Amazon to buy something, and we look to Netflix and Apple for entertainment. We also live in a world where Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are in the race to become ‘’our personal assistant’’ and while we already know but need to become increasingly aware, new products coming online will now embed themselves deeply into our everyday life. It is up to you to decide if the price we pay for convenience, efficiency and abundance is too high.
GDPR has some very severe implications for businesses, especially those which have access to a lot of customer data. If your business issues regular emails hoping to stimulate new business, you will need to think again but more importantly familiarise yourself with the dynamics of GDPR.
GDPR puts the customer firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to their data, and businesses will have to handle it as carefully as they would handle cash.
The companies who are most aware of how GDPR will affect them are hiring data protection experts to conduct complete reviews of their business processes to examine how they receive, store, process and secure their data. They are then taking the recommendations and acting upon them.
Even if you think that you don’t store personal data, you do. A previously inconsequential act such as passing on an email address to a friend will be a breach of GDPR.
In today’s digital world, your data is a market commodity, bought and sold to people who can use it against you.
Many people think that GDPR is an IT issue, but it is a major legal, administrative and legal challenge for your business to overcome.
However, don’t be afraid to see GDPR as an opportunity. See it as a chance to build a reputation of transparency and a way to build trust with your customer base.
After you have read this blog, you will need to appoint a data protection officer to your business, be it big or small. You should perhaps even consider being the officer yourself.
As they say, knowledge is power, or in this case, knowledge will avoid a fine of seismic proportions.