General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws went into effect across Europe in May, 2018. Put into place by the European Union, GDPR is a complex set of rules that have reshaped data and identity protection for consumers across Europe.
One year into the age of GDPR, some businesses, especially those outside of Europe, may still find themselves confused about the legislation and how similar regulations might affect advertising if comparable laws make their way to the U.S. Even if similar regulations take years to come into effect, it’s vital to understand the laws and how this kind of legislation may impact U.S. advertising.
Get Ready for Real Changes
There’s a sense of fear around laws such as GDPR for business owners as there’s a lack of understanding around what constitutes compliance. Companies are no longer sure how to handle even basic customer information such as full names, home addresses, email addresses, photos, social media posts, and IP addresses from visits. Essentially, EU citizens now have “the right to be forgotten” but businesses are not sure how to exactly forget them without sacrificing their customer experience.
If you read the list above and identified multiple types of data you’ve been mining for advertising, it’s time to prepare for what may be coming. Begin by consulting a specialized privacy attorney, who can guide you through the finer points of the GDPR legislation and advise you on how to proceed. But here’s the good news – those of you who are preparing will have a leg up. Most other businesses are going to be out of compliance, afraid to market at all. And you’ll be sitting atop a mountain of permissioned customer data.
For those who have already begun preparing for regulations on the horizon, it’s time to ask yourself whether those adjustments are comprehensive enough to prepare for what’s to come. Have you been focusing on making material changes to your marketing and advertising approach, or have you turned your focus toward surface-level efforts such as editing your privacy policies or reassuring customers their data is safe in your hands?
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Whether you’re in the former or the latter camp, prepare to make meaningful changes to your business – and these adjustments will require more than just updating vendor paperwork. You don’t want to scramble when federal regulations come to pass or, as in the case with potential legislation coming through California, regulations that are implemented on a state level.
Some businesses will thrive in a new environment, even as potential regulations fundamentally shift digital advertising. Those businesses will be the ones that can easily explain what those regulations do, how they apply to business practices, and are ultimately prepared to implement a new approach right away.
How do you do that? Get started now by setting up a contingency plan and working with advertising companies that understand those regulatory compliances. Experts in the field may not be able to predict the future, but they can help you navigate a changing world in data management.