I want this blog to remind everyone of something important – GDPR is actually a “good thing”. There has been much moaning at the extra workload that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has created. This is understandable, but misguided.
Look instead to the bigger picture. According to one Microsoft security report, more than 97% of emails sent online are unwanted. Spam has become commonplace – I doubt you know anyone who doesn’t get any. Thanks to GDPR, consent now has to “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.” Goodbye, confusing terms and conditions, unsolicited emails and pre-clicked check boxes. Hello, less time spent deleting and unsubscribing from emails you don’t want. The high tide of email misery is set to recede.
For those of you caught flaunting the law beyond May 25th, when the regulations take effect, you can expect fines of up to €20 Million or 4% of a brand’s total global annual turnover – whichever is the greater. Justice! Maybe though you do trust companies with your data. Maybe you shouldn’t. LinkedIn, Adobe, Dropbox, Myspace, Last.fm, Tumblr – all these companies either lost personal data or allowed email passwords to fall into the hands of online criminals. And in one recent case, Uber hid the fact that they had suffered a data breach of 57 Million users for over a year (under GDPR they would have had to disclose any breach within 72 hours). GDPR will allow you to access, object to, rectify and erase data companies hold on you.
While it might be today’s headache, GDPR comes from a good place. And soon, you will wonder why we didn’t have it sooner.