GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a regulation from the European Union that helps protect web users’ data. Wait, I know, I know. Before you say it: You are in the United States! But before you hit ‘delete’ calling this irrelevant, let me explain how it affects you.
If you collect names, IP addresses, session cookies, or e-mail addresses (which most websites do), you collect personal data. This personal data should be protected, right? True. But starting May 25th, some US websites were also required to abide by new European website privacy laws. Of course my head was spinning trying to understand why we should be required to follow European laws. So I did some research.
After digging deeper, this law will apply if you market (even by accident) to the EU (European Union) or a country within. Business owners with no market share in the EU, who don’t target the EU in marketing, and don’t own an overseas domain name, have little to no required changes to make. Or do you?
For those that might be (even inadvertently) marketing to Europeans, and those wanting to tighten your own privacy reigns, let’s take a look at their laws. The theme is this: Be more transparent with your potential clients. We can all learn about transparency and protecting our clients’ data! So here are the highlights behind this regulation.
- Explain who you are, how long you’re keeping user data, why you need it, and who on your team or externally has access to it
- Get explicit and clear consent to collect data through an opt-in
- Give users access to their own data, the ability to download it, and to delete it from your records completely
- In the event of a hack or security breach, let your users know about it
So these aren’t too bad. But the fines for not complying are! “You could get fined 2% of your worldwide annual revenue for failing to disclose a data breach, or up to 4% for failing to ask for user consent when storing data.”1
What should I do?
If you need help with compliance, we’d be glad to offer suggestions or setup your pop-up!