Have you heard about GDPR and you have no idea what it is and if it does apply to you? If you are a small business owner, if you're home-based business owner, if you're a network marketer or an online marketer, if you have a big company, if you have a website, it doesn't matter where you are, but if you have a website I'm sure you have heard of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.
If you don't know what it is, then continue reading this because I'm going to give you 10 action steps that you should take to make sure that your company and your website is in GDP compliance,
Again, if you don't know what it is I'm going to give you some resources where you can check out more information about this.
This topic is very important if you have a website. it doesn't matter if you're a small business owner. it doesn't matter if you have a big business, or a brick and mortar business, you're just a blogger, you're a direct seller or network marketer. If you have a website this topic is very important to you.
So GDPR represents sweeping new legislation that was designed to protect the data rights of the European residents. I am a resident of two EU countries as well as the United States and it will affect me majorly because I have my audience all over the world, not just here in the United States. It affects every organization that interacts with an EU resident in any way, it doesn't matter where your organization is.
So, if you think that because you live in the US or anywhere else and it won't affect you, think again. If you're doing business just in the United States probably some of your audience have roots in European Union or they are citizens of European Union countries and maybe have the residency United States. It doesn't matter like I said where you are, this information is important.
Why is GDPR so important?
Because there's a deadline. The deadline is May 25th, 2018, when the enforcement starts for GDPR and there are going to be very expensive fines if you're failing to be GDPR compliant. Some of the numbers that they're talking about are up to 20 million euros or 4% of global revenues whichever is greater.
So, if you're thinking that you're a small business owner and this will not affect you... I say think again because this will affect your business in a major way.
Basically, the GDPR it's a big deal and it's alarming that very few organizations or even bloggers or small business owners or marketers have taken the steps that they need to take to make sure that they're in compliance. Failure to be in compliance is clearly going to create significant and ongoing risks and I want to avoid that.
I want to make sure that from the legal standpoint that your company is in GDPR compliance. I recommend you to get proper legal advice or consultation on the matter. But, until then, here are
10 Steps to Ensure Your Website or Business is GDPR Compliant
This will also give you a head start on your own efforts to ensure your compliance and compare the work that you have already undertaken.
1. Awareness and Alignment
The first thing you should do is to create awareness and alignment in your company. If you're a one-man show then you're the person in charge. But if you have a team of people that are working for you and your business then you need to make sure that everybody who's touching the information that's collected through your business and every decision maker or key member of your team is aware of this new law and how is this changing your business practices, and how they should anticipate the impact and the potential risks of GDPR to your company.
If you're looking for training on the topic there're hundreds of webinars, events, even entire conferences that were devoted to this topic from the United States or anywhere else in the world.
So, at this point, if you have not attended one of these I suggest you do it because you will not have an excuse that you were not educated in this. People started talking about this last year, at least a year prior. I recommend to you to make sure that you're finding these resources and make sure that you're educating your team.
I also recommend bringing in some outside expertise, and ultimately, even your own legal team if you have a significant business and you want to make sure that your business stays compliant and it's not subjected to any fines because of ignorance. Do whatever it takes: seek legal advice and involve your lawyers in every single step you're taking from now on when you're thinking about how your business or your prep site collects information.
2. Information Audit
The second thing you should do is to look at your information and do an audit and document it to understand at every single level of your organization what personal information your company's holding from your visitors or from your readers, where that came from, how it was collected and with whom and how it is shared.
You should also identify the sources of information and the types of information or data relationships you have. For example, what third-party tools have access to your data, what tags are you or they are using that will signal other people that hey here's some information you could use for various reasons. This is an epic task, but, you want to consider the risks involved if you're not doing it.
So, that's why I think you should consider undertaking a formal information audit. Here are some of the questions you should ask and find answers to:
- who is your audience
- what information you're collecting from them
- who has access to this information
- where do you keep this data
- how do you transfer personal information inside your company also outside of your company; if you are doing that why do you have other people's personal data under your control and also for what legitimate purposes do you need it.
- why do you share it with third parties and how do they share with their third parties.
- how long you're going to keep this personal data of your visitors' or readers
- how do you share personal data with others
- what mechanisms do you have in place to safeguard this personal information and
- how are you processing this data
- how long are you keeping it.
3. Update Your Policy
If you just updated your terms and conditions like I did a couple weeks ago, I'm actually going to go back to my website and make sure it's GDPR compliance.
To learn more about these, listen to this video.
In conclusion, do not disregard GDPR just because you are not in a European Union country and make sure you, your business, and your team is aware of what this means.
If you like this article, also check out 9 GDPR Misconceptions!
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