General Data Protection Regulation or simply put GDPR is a regulation that was effected in May 2018 by the European Union. The regulation is focused on the protection of private data collected from EU residents. Every website that collects data from EU citizens, regardless of where it is located is affected by this law and this includes the ones located in the United States.
If your website collects data such as name, address, phone number, email address, and credit card details, among other sensitive information in your transactions with the European Union citizens, there is need to comply as failure to do this can lead to a fine of over $23 or 4% of your annual turnover.
Since you do not know when a resident of the European Union will contact you for a service, it is important to comply. The GDPR compliance rule may seem complex but to make it simple, here are a few practices that will result from it:
- You will remain clear on how your website collects information as well as how this information is used and stored.
- There will be an opt-in permission to use and store private information.
- There will be no room for buying names and contacts.
- Those who have submitted private information will have a right to demand the removal of their private information from your database.
- If in any event, a data breach occurs, you will be required to alert the concerned individuals.
A website that holds information that is meant for household purposes does not need to comply with the GDPR rule. This will mean that the website does not market, process, collect or sell the data in the database.
When your website is GDPR compliant, you will be at less risk of having the private information hacked by cybercriminals. This will, in turn, win the trust of your existing clients who will also bring in more customers in the future.
The only downside in the implementation of the GDPR rule is the extra expenditure of hiring a data protection officer who will be in charge of ensuring that the rule is complied to at all times. However, considering the hefty fine that your website will incur as a result of non-compliance, the cost of hiring a data protection officer is much less.
Unlike in the past when little was done in the management of the information collected from customers, the GDPR rule demands accountability from you as a website owner in terms of how you collect the information, how you store it, and also how it is used.