If you’ve paid attention to the news in recent months, you know that the EU’s new consumer data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), goes into effect at the end of this week (May 25, 2018).
Under the regulation, all businesses that handle personal data about EU citizens are required to follow strict guidelines for the collection, use and protection of that data. Additionally, businesses must give consumers the option to request erasure and opt out of profiling.
The GDPR is a move in the right direction. Consumers are warier than ever before about how businesses collect and use their data, especially in the wake of massive data breaches from companies like Equifax. Given the potential consequences of personal data landing in the wrong hands, these data privacy concerns are justified. Businesses that collect and use consumer data should be held to high standards.
If you’re an email marketer, the GDPR will impact your day-to-day job — even if you’re not located in the EU. A recent study found that 85 percent of businesses understand the severity of the regulation and have a plan in place to ensure compliance, while 73 percent have started executing on that plan. Despite having plans in place, 83 percent say they do not feel confident they’ll meet the May 25 deadline. Luckily for them, they’ll have 30 days to complete that erasure request.
Since we’re days away from the GDPR going into effect and most businesses have a plan for compliance in place, I won’t use this column to give advice about how to comply. Instead, I’ve asked Kara Alvarez, my colleague and VP of product at Yes Lifecycle Marketing, to touch on some of the legislation’s vague language and answer questions that marketers may have forgotten to ask as the deadline looms.
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