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Personal data now includes email addresses, social media channels and cookies
Personal data now includes email addresses, social media channels and cookies

With the new regulation coming into the force today, many businesses are still looking at the challenge of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what it means for them. From a digital marketing perspective, what are the new rules for obtaining and storing data? Also, how is it going to affect marketers?

It’s not just about names, addresses, dates of birth anymore. The definition of personal data will go beyond those to include new digital identifiers such as email addresses, social media channels and cookies. GDPR is all about consumer protection and the corporate use of people’s information. The power goes back to consumers because they will own their personal information and the right to have it changed – or even deleted.

In the new GDPR world, personal data has to be consented and then stored safely, and only for as long as it needs to be. All information should be accurate and accessible. If an individual asks a business what information they have on them, that business needs to comply.

The holy trinity

Understanding the three core elements of the legislation should be the key focus for brands. These are the rights, access and consent of consumer data. Consumers have the right to know how their information is being processed and how it will be stored. If there is a data breach, individuals have the right to complain and even seek judicial remedies. It is especially crucial that individuals’ rights are protected to avoid any costly penalties, reputation damage and further unsubscribes from other consumers.

The post GDPR world allows consumers to access data handled by brands whenever they request to do so. By now, brands must be in a position to provide any customer with a copy of any personal data being processed. However, by re-organising the way personal information is stored and used, businesses are putting themselves in a better place to deliver best practice and valuable marketing campaigns at the same time.

Finally, the third and probably the biggest concern is asking for reconsent – which is to…