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GDPR compliance at work

Adrian Godding
11/03/19

In May 2018, the EU implemented its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), leading up to it, there was a lot of fear of how it would affect businesses. With companies of all sizes needing new processes in place to ensure customer's data was handled legally. 

The regulations impacted how long data can be stored, what it can be used for and how you collect and treat it. GDPR also ensured that businesses are entirely responsible for the protection of user's data. It also gives the individual user a lot of rights over what data is being held. They are able to access this information any time and revoke a company's access to the Data. These regulations are being taken seriously. With fines up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the company's annual turnover.

How has it affected business today?

Small businesses aren't able to fund GDPR compliance efforts and their mailing lists or data storage may be breaching the new rules, or they're not operating as efficiently as possible, because they are too cautious of the regulations. Bigger companies are able to invest in lawyers, with an advanced understanding of GDPR, to implement new processes that ensure they process data as effectively as possible while still remaining compliant with regulations.

YouTube has turned to paid subscriptions

Since the restrictions being placed on data tracking, YouTube has really pushed their premium services to users. With ads being more difficult to track, they make up a smaller part of YouTube's business model. Instead, viewers are encouraged to subscribe to content posters. YouTube has been adding features to its premium model too. For £15 a month, users can download videos to watch later without internet access and watch videos without pre-roll ads.

Meaningful customer engagement

Businesses have had to trim down their extensive mailing lists. This means the customers still receiving communications are engaged and loyal customers, who have allowed their data to be used in this way. While the amount of emails being sent has decreased, the quality of each engagement has increased and businesses can use more targeted messaging for this highly engaged audience.

US sites deny EU visitors

Maybe this has happened to you, instead of modifying their sites and processes to suit the regulations of the EU. Some sites based around the world have instead began to block users based on their location. Maybe it's a temporary fix, but it's nine months since the rules were implemented and some sites are still not available in the EU.

Some companies have been heavily affected, ones with global websites and handling enormous amounts of data every day, have had to rebuild entire parts of their business from scratch. On a more personal scale, do EU residents feel safer that their data is in good hands, or inconvenienced at having to agree to cookie collecting on every single website, and some sites being blocked or being encouraged to buy a premium model? With millions of people's data being processed each day, it's a huge task for the EU to police and the effectiveness of the regulations is still up for debate. But this is a big step in ensuring companies are accountable for users’ data and take this responsibility seriously.

Read our related blog: What do you know about data privacy

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