Websites / March 28, 2019
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GDPR, short for the General Data Protection Regulation, goes into effect on May 25, 2018. It was created by the European Union to centralize and unify privacy laws across all of the EU. The purpose of the regulation is to give all EU residents control and protection over their personal data, how it is used and stored. Although your A/E/C firm might not do business in the EU, visitors to your website may very well be from an EU country. So, if you have even a basic form on your site, for example, you should consider GDPR compliance.
Although I’m certainly not an expert on the nuances of this complex regulation, there are aspects that are important to consider as they impact your firm’s website. Read on for a quick review.
There are three main things that you should include on your website going forward:
The official definition, according to the regulation, is a bit convoluted IMHO. But for most service firm websites, if you have a contact form or newsletter sign-up where you gather a person’s name and/or email address, that definitely qualifies. But it seems that “personal data” is not limited to specific names or email addresses, it can be more generic. Other personal data may include information gathered by marketing automation tools (like HubSpot and others), Google Analytics, browser cookies, etc.
The question many of us are thinking is “Will a GDPR law suit be filed against my firm if our website is non-compliant on May 25th?” There’s really no way to know, but I certainly hope not. One thing is for sure, it can’t hurt to proactively avoid problems. Besides, allowing visitors basic privacy choices isn’t such a bad idea, right? Here are a few simple things you can do to help your site comply:
If your company doesn’t interact much with EU citizens, the likelihood of issues erupting from your website’s compliance are definitely lower, but still probably worth addressing. If you can demonstrate an effort is being made to comply, that is a significant step in and of itself. So, doing even a little to make your website a safer place may help significantly in the GDPR world ahead.
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