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Concerns over data collection, protection, and usage are top of mind in today’s business world. The internet only becomes more central to how we live which means more and more of our data is made available to others – especially corporations.
But this data isn’t always used ethically or protected appropriately. This puts consumers at risk of having their information or identity stolen.
To create a more consistent standard, the European Union (EU) implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018. This set of regulations applies to anyone selling goods or services to residents of the EU regardless of where the company is located.
These regulations are an important step towards clarifying and enabling individual privacy rights. It is all about giving customers a better understanding of how their data is used and analyzed; as well as giving them the ability to alter and delete the data as needed.
Key Elements Of The GDPR
The GDPR empowers the individual to control how their data is used. Companies must give individuals access to their data, the ability to alter or delete it, and refuse to the processing of their information.
In addition, companies are held responsible for protecting the data and any records associated with the process of the data.
Finally, companies are required to be clear when they are collecting data and communicate how it will be used; including have detailed policies surrounding customer data.
Don’t sell into Europe?
As noted above, the GDPR applies to businesses selling goods or services to the residents of the EU. But you may not sell into the EU.
In that case, these changes do not technically impact your business. However, these practices and guidelines are widely accepted and other areas will be adopting similar ways to protect the end-users data. So it’s probably best to move to the GDPR framework now rather than waiting until being forced later.
Want To Know Where You Stand?
When a change like this occurs, it’s a good time to take stock and look inwardly. Microsoft is helping with a free online assessment to “Evaluate Your Readiness For GDPR.” Take the evaluation here.
The collection and use of data has given many companies immense advantages to providing the right goods and services to their customers. However, it’s also an area of growing concern as companies now know more about their customers than ever before. Policies like GDPR are paramount to giving individuals the right to protect themselves.