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Are you ready for the European GDPR May 25 start date?

Marketers can avoid heavy penalties with timely due diligence

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25, 2018. Any company that does business in Europe or interacts with people based in Europe must comply or risk financial penalties under the law that are as high as the greater of 4% of global revenues or 20 million euros. The purpose of the regulation is to strengthen, protect, and unify the use of personal data of individuals residing within the European Union.

Compliance with the Regulation applies even if a business is not physically located in the European Union.

While the regulation is primarily aimed at Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing, Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers must also adhere to the regulation but not to the same extent. In the words of Mark Davis of Lead Forensics “GDPR applies to “personal data” and “sensitive personal data”, but not to “business data” – but how do we distinguish between these terms and ensure no wires are crossed in confusion?” (1)

Business information such as company names, locations, landline phone numbers, and website addresses is not protected by GDPR. Personal data including business email addresses and business mobile phone numbers are protected.

Multi-channel marketing has led to a proliferation of personal data within the business world. These data must be protected from misuse and theft. GDPR regulations have immediate and significant impact on how cookies are used to track visitors on a marketing website, how consent is managed, what options are provided to delete personal data, how personal data are stored and protected, and what processes and policies are followed if there is a data breach.

In the event of data breaches, companies are obligated to notify authorities and the general public within 72 hours of discovery.

Contact RightWave to learn how its customers are assisted in meeting GDPR as well as regulations in individual countries around the world. RightWave is not a law firm; RightWave urges marketers to consult with attorneys as needed.

  1. Davis, Mark: What does GDPR mean for B2B marketing? Lead Forensics, January 31, 2018
  2. Gracey, Mark: When B2B data is personal data and what that means with the GDPR Media, June 14, 2017
  3. Mittal, Kanishka: Seventeen months remain to comply with GDPR RightWave blog, January 2, 2017