What Is GDPR and Why Should You Care?

By Michael Baxter on 6 March 2020 with tags Consulting

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The European General Data Protection Regulation — better known by its acronym, GDPR — sets a new standard for data collection, storage, and usage among all companies that operate in Europe. It will change how companies handle consumer privacy, and will give people new rights to access and control their own data on the internet. Although this seems to focus on Europe it is worth understanding its implications for your customers digital offerings.

GDPR is a series of laws spelling out the digital rights for people. In Europe, though, GDPR represents one of the most robust data privacy laws in the world. It also gives people the right to ask companies how their personal data is collected and stored, how it's being used, and request that personal data be deleted. It also requires that companies clearly explain how your data is stored and used, and get your consent before collecting it. "Personal data," in this case, refers to things like a person's name, email, and IP address, but also pseudonymised information that could be traced back to them. People can also object to personal data being used for certain purposes, like direct marketing. If you buy a pair of shoes through an online retailer and start seeing ads for similar shoes, you should be able to ask the retailer to stop using your personal data for direct marketing purposes. Under GDPR, those and other rights are guaranteed.

The GDPR has introduced extended liability and increased penalties. With this in mind, companies should be particularly careful when handling personal data of Europeans.

So, what does that mean for businesses operating in New Zealand? Here are some approaches to help your customers protect their customer’s data:

  • Review internal data policies and procedures that address privacy and data protection.
  • Utilise SSL – that’s the padlock you see in the web browser.
  • Implement a pop-up or banner to allow website visitors to accept your terms and conditions, privacy policy, and use of cookies.

The team here at Utopia have over 20 years of experience and can provide you and your clients with advice and solutions for all their data protection requirements. Contact us today to discuss how Utopia can work with you and your clients for their own business protection.