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You’ve likely heard about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) going into effect for EU nations on May 25. It’s less likely that your data team has had much time to react to this new consumer protection. They may have thought it won’t have any impact if the organization is outside the EU’s jurisdiction. If they thought that, they’d be wrong. There's a lot to learn about the GDPR and its wide-ranging impacts on companies around the world. Here’s a look at why GDPR will be a watershed moment for businesses, consumers, and data management teams alike.
GDPR: The Basics
The GDPR will represent a huge change for how companies manage and administer the data of consumers. These regulations will place a higher burden on companies to treat all consumer data equally; meaning, names, social security numbers, contact information and even cookies need to be protected and administered to the same rigorous levels of security. It’s important to realize that, while it’s a regulation from the EU, it will have an impact worldwide. Any company with a physical presence in the EU, or holds data of any citizens of the EU, are subject to following GDPR regulations. These guidelines mean that, in reality, this is the new global standard in data administration, storage, and protection.
What Types of Data are Protected?
As one would guess, the types of data subjected to GDPR are the types consumers want most to be kept private. Names, ID numbers, web data, sexual orientation, medical data and more. As mentioned above, these various types of data will all be treated equally, meaning a company found to have not met the standard of even one example mentioned above could face extensive fines and penalties.
Why the GDPR is Important
As the findings of this excellent, in-depth survey suggests, consumers have little to no faith left in corporations handling their personal data. 73% of respondents reported being more aware data breaches compared to five years ago. From a data quality perspective, a lack of trust between consumer and corporation is becoming a massive issue. 41% of respondents admitted that they have intentionally altered personal information when signing up for services and products online. To rebuild trust between companies and consumers, it’s hoped that the GDPR can make some headway for the benefit of both parties involved.