E-commerce allows for scalability and immense growth if you play your cards right, but this growth comes with a price! As you branch out and start selling in other countries, you need to learn how business is conducted there and most importantly, you need to follow the rules.
Enter the GDPR….
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR is an acronym which stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is Europe’s data privacy law, and it has been fleshed out by the EU and will take effect soon. When signed into law, the GDPR will become the most comprehensive data law on the planet, it will affect all business in Europe whether small or big, and it will influence how businesses collect data from consumers, including e-commerce businesses.
Even if you don’t do business in Europe, you still need to prepare for it because you may not be based in Europe, but the GDPR will affect you if you have European customers!
How does it work?
The GDPR gives more power to the customer over their data, allowing them to access all their information, change it, delete it, correct it or even prevent organizations from accessing it. So, essentially, with the GDPR in place, you need to be more careful about how you obtain and process people’s data.
What does this all mean?
The GDPR now puts you in charge of protecting your customer’s data and will hold you accountable if anything goes wrong. There has to be transparency when you collect and process people’s data. Under the GDPR, you will need consent to access or process your customer’s data. For example, a customer in the EU might email you and demand you clear out his/her purchase history from your store, under the GDPR, you must oblige this request.
What will happen if I don’t comply with the GDPR?
There will be consequences for failure to comply with GDPR policies. The Supervisory authorities in charge of enforcing the rules could fine you 4% of your global annual turnover. Your business reputation may suffer, and you will lose customers. If you’re in doubt of this, just ask Mike Zuckerberg 🙂
When does the GDPR take effect?
The GDPR will become effective starting May 25th, 2018.
What to do before it kicks in?
To get ready for the GDPR, you need to begin to make some updates to your business:
– Ensure third-party apps that you use are complying with GDPR rules
– Consider appointing a Data, protection officer
– Consider documenting data protection impact assessments
– Consider revisiting methods used to obtain data and ensure they comply with the GDPR
– Ensure you obtain consent from your customers before processing any of their personal data
– Re-evaluate your business and determine if you will be able to comply with the GDPR rules.
Because every business is different, these aren’t hard proof steps to take for the new GDPR age, but they’re practical things to do to get you ready. The best advice here will be to consult with your lawyer so that you have a full proof backing and understanding of the GDPR and how it will really affect you.
In the wake of Facebook data privacy scandal, it is only logical that even more countries will begin to tighten the rules on data privacy in order to protect their citizens. This is one of the perks of living in the 21st century, to survive; we have to keep up with the trends, even if that trend is new data laws.
Keep selling guys!
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