The phrase 'Data protection' seems to only come up when something's gone horribly wrong—like the recent news of Uber's massive data breach or the huge payroll data leak at Morrisons. But the frequency of data-related incidents could change with the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the EU's law that comes into effect next May. The major update to the previous EU data protection law aims to regulate the use and treatment of an individual's personal data.
Now that's what you call more power to the people. Privacy is a human right, and the amount of data floating around the world today increasingly puts our privacy at risk.
The quantity provides more opportunities for the theft and exploitation of our information. But a new regulation means organisations that use data will need to be more careful and explicit with gaining consent.
After next May, companies that maintain poor data protection practices will not only be breaking the law, but could face a hefty €20 million fine or four per cent of a company's annual turnover. Needless to say, the GDPR is a pretty big deal with even bigger consequences: and it's no wonder the Content Marketing Association has deemed it the marketing world's equivalent to Brexit. In other words: constantly talked about (and maybe a bit scary).
But where the initial shock around the UK's divorce from the EU has waned, concern around the GDPR is only likely to grow in 2018. Still, no need to panic.
If you're a small business and don't have the cash to splash out on a heavyweight team of legal experts, here are seven ways to ensure you're compliant with the GDPR: