GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This Friday, May 25, 2018 GDPR becomes law. But it's not an American law, so you may think that you don't need to bother. Before you stop reading, you should be aware of a critical element in the law. GDPR applies to organizations that maintain lists that include the personal data of EU citizens.
What is it for?
GDPR endeavors to guard the personal information of EU citizens by setting regulations about how personal information is stored, managed, and processed. Personal information relates to all the information that can identify a person. What we are talking about are things like names, contact info, a person’s address or current location, banking info, health-related info, pictures, and much more, including a person's IP address or web browser's cookies.
As you can imagine, this might be a big challenge, depending on if you manage client data of European customers. I'm not going to unwrap this package any further. At this point, I'm going to make a couple of recommendations. If you are a small business and you have data on European citizens, I suggest you use a reasonably priced third party to manage your customer information. I use MailChimp, which provides services that will keep you on the right side of this law. If you are a large company with a large European customer base, you should seek legal counsel so that you can start and stay on the right side of the law. Failing to comply can result in fines.
One final thought about GDPR
Part of the reason I wanted to make my customers aware of this new European Union law is that I believe laws like this will appear in the United States sooner than later. Knowing about this now will help you be prepared for what might be coming.
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