GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, which has gone into effect on May 25, 2018. It’s a new set of rules for data collection, storage, and usage for all EU-based organizations and companies that work with European customers. It’s designed to protect and secure European residents’ data.

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In this article, we’ll discuss how it would affect your business, whether you’re based inside or outside the EU.

First things first, here is an introductory video titled “What is GDPR?” to start with.

GDPR was built on the past regulation named the Data Protection Directive of 1995 and the Fair Information Practices, which also shaped the US policies on similar issues. At the moment, however, there wouldn’t be something like GDPR in the United States any time soon. UK will have something similar to GDPR shortly, despite Brexit.

For EU-based and non-EU organizations that deal with European customers, GDPR would affect how they do business.

1. The consumers will have the right to demand data provided to organizations immediately.

2. The consumers will be able to connect more meaningfully with organizations that use their data.

3. Organizations will be compelled to use consumer data more carefully, especially in monetizing them.

4. Organizations will be able to focus on building trust with consumers while providing the highest level of service within the GDPR requirements.

As a business owner, you will need to implement GDPR appropriately, as it will change how you do business in the long run. Here are several changes.

1. Organizations will need to follow the laws and regulations when moving data to non-EU countries.

2. Organizations will need to provide consumers with the right to opt-in or opt-out of research and marketing programs.

3. Organizations must protect consumer data related to personal information.

4. Consumers must have direct access to all data collected about their personal information.

5. Consumers have the right to erase all personal data collected by organizations.

6. Organizations must inform consumers immediately in the event of data and security breach.

7. Organizations must be provided consent from consumers before starting to use their data for any purpose.

But, what is “personal data”? Does email addresses that you collect from newsletter subscribers and lead generation efforts belong to this category? The answer is “yes.” The rule of thumb is “from those data and information; you can make an identification on the individual either directly or indirectly.”

With the above effects of GDPR on consumer data, your business would be required to budget appropriately and hire security and data protection expert, as well as a GDPR person in charge. And if your business belongs to SME (small and medium enterprise) category, most likely you’re not that aware of the legal and financial implications of GDPR. If you haven’t done so, it’s recommended that you hire a GDPR expert to ensure that your business adheres to the requirements without delay.

In conclusion, GDPR rules affect businesses all over the world, not limited to those based in EU, as online presence or e-commerce store allows customers from all over the world to make transactions. Thus, if your business has a website, make sure that it adheres to GDPR as well.

About the Author

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for Oberlo. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.