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GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation is a data security law concerned with the citizens of the European Economic Area and the European Union. Any company that uses personal and commercial data of these citizens must comply with the rules of GDPR. Summarizing the GDPR rules, they not only direct companies how to use and store client data but also verify whether or not that data is secured properly, along with making it mandatory to inform clients about any kind of data breach.
GDPR Compliance Statistics
- As per research by Spiceworks, 70% of EU and 75% of UK IT professionals favor GDPR at large.
- According to a survey conducted by McDermott, Will & Emery, 60% of respondents stated that GDPR guidelines have streamlined their organization’s workflow owing to data management solutions in the form of collection, protection, and usage of personal information.
- A Verizon Data Breach Investigations report explains that more than 2,000 data breaches and 40,000 security incidents happened in 2018, with 32% of them being related to phishing.
- As per research from the DMA, 62% of consumers revealed that their confidence has increased when it comes to sharing personal data due to the improved data security laws.
- According to a Deloitte report, 21% of respondents were of the view that GDPR has provided them with business enablement, competitive edge, and improved reputation, apart from data security.
So, let’s get started and discover the compliance pitfalls which are most common among businesses.
Top Six GDPR Compliance Stumbling Blocks
1. Believing You Don’t Have to be Compliant
One of the most common stumbling blocks is the belief that your business does not need to comply with GDPR in the first place. Just as we discussed above, all the companies that are collecting personal data of European citizens have to follow the data guidelines set by GDPR.
If you are a non-Europe registered company, but are operative in the EU, you may be liable for a penalty by GDPR if you don’t follow the guidelines. So, before starting with your services in the EU, make sure you understand each and every GDPR guideline.
2. Inability to Delete Customer Data
An important GDPR derivative, the right to delete customer data, mandates that businesses delete complete master customer data upon their request. In the past, businesses used to delete only a portion of customer information while still using their contact numbers for marketing purposes.
This kind of approach has been completely abolished with the GDPR guidelines, which clearly state that in no way can businesses use customer data after a customer declares the termination of his/her relationship with them. So, proper methods need to be built for Data Management processing and deleting master customer data records in one go. Also, it is important that the businesses keep evidence of whatever they are deleting from the master customer data to avoid any kind of legal or penalty hassle.
3. Cherry-Picking GDPR Guidelines
Most of businesses simply focus on the most-discussed GDPR elements like the need for a DPO (data protection officer), consent management, and the right to delete personal data. However, these do not constitute all the elements of GDPR as there are 11 chapters with 99 articles which explain the complete guidelines in detail.
It’s evident that businesses must go through all these guidelines and comply with the same before providing any services in the EU and collecting any personal data of its residents.
4. Personal Information Identification Failures
The GDPR directives that are related to personal information are its backbone. Businesses have to understand that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is not just limited to a customer’s contact information, IDs, BAN (International Bank Account Numbers), e-mails, and more.
If businesses need to be GDPR-compliant, they also have to consider unstructured customer data like IP addresses, social media posts, geographical locations, profile images, etc. So, make sure you have read the complete GDPR personal information compliance.
5. Using Customer Data in Ways Other than Intended
What most businesses do is that they collect customer data on behalf of something and then also use it for marketing purposes. If your business has gathered customer data for taking care of customer queries or complaints, you must use their data for that specific purpose only. The GDPR does not allow for any kind of vulnerabilities when it comes to the usage of customer data.
So, make sure your marketing team is aware of this fact and that they are not sending out attractive deals and offers to customers via e-mails, calls, or in person.
6. Not Taking Legal Assistance
Regardless of the scale of your services in Europe for which you gather customer data, it is imperative to take legal assistance in order to be sure of compliance with the GDPR. Businesses have a lot of tasks to handle, and if they have to go in-depth to understand and implement these guidelines into their systems, it will definitely be an overwhelming task.
Getting an experienced and skillful legal counsel on board is recommended as one cannot match the expertise of a professional. Apart from this, taking the help of data management outsourcing providers is also a viable option as they have in-house expert teams that can assist you completely with GDPR, along with managing your data and back-office tasks.
Complying with GDPR is vital for any business that is directly or
indirectly involved in business activities in Europe and which uses the
personal information of its residents. Every business must try its best to
avoid the above-mentioned stumbling blocks when it comes to keeping compliance
with the GDPR as failing to do so not only costs a company in terms of a
financial loss but also hampers its business image, along with the elimination
of trust that customers have in their brand.