Are you ready for GDPR?

Andy Ball, managing director of Balls2 Marketing, discusses the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will be made UK law on May 25, and why you need to get your processes in place now.

GDPR has been on the marketing industry’s agenda for some time, but over the last month or so we’ve had companies approaching us asking specific questions about their in-house data.

Perhaps it’s just because we’re in May now, but it’s not been helped by the headlines about more than 87 million Facebook users’ data being harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

While GDPR is nothing to panic about, it does need to be taken seriously. The regulations apply to all data that can be attributed to a living individual, including current employees and ex-employees’ data, which will fall to HR to cover.

We’ve done the research and talked to specialist data lawyers to make sure that we understand what our clients need to do with their marketing data to comply with GDPR ahead of May 25.

The most useful advice we have found is to make sure that your processes are correctly set up. Look at what data you hold, what consent you have to use it, and where and how you will securely store and update the data.

The term ‘legitimate interest’, when used correctly, should help you to continue to contact customers and prospects with relevant information, but if the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) comes knocking, you’ll need to be able to prove that you have a process for auditing, updating, using and storing any data you hold or process.

You should appoint someone in your company who will be responsible for data, ensuring that it is always up-to-date and there is a process to delete data when you’re asked to. You’ll also need a process in place for if there is a data breach or hack.

For third party lists, we’ve helped clients to protect themselves by creating a questionnaire to give to their supplier to confirm they are GDPR compliant and have permission for the data to be used for third party marketing.

The deadline is just around the corner, so make sure you act now to put your processes in place.