How is GDPR affecting business and which businesses does it currently affect?

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The internet has revolutionized the way we do business. But at the same time, the internet itself is in a constant process of innovation and evolution.

Unlike the past, consumers and users of today are far more educated and aware of their rights and privacy issues.

With a rising consumer demand of being in control of the information and data that they provide and share on the internet, the privacy policies of most of the websites were dominated by online companies.

Identifying and recognizing the need for a well-orchestrated regulation in this regard, the European Union came up with General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.

The main aim of this technology regulation is to reduce the negative impact of data sharing and insecure privacy rights for the consumers.

This GDPR has impacted every organization no matter which size or industry it belongs to. Like all other laws and regulations, there are some advantages and some disadvantages of the GDPR as well.

In the following text, we will gain some basic understanding of this new and innovative consumer regulation and look at the various effects it has on the business sector.

The Need for GDPR

The internet and its constant usage have become a part of our daily households. Using innovative and efficient ways of communication, shopping, task completion, work operations, and financial activities, we use the internet for almost everything in our lives.

From sending emails to sharing documents to paying our bills and purchasing products and services, we provide companies and online websites our personal information and data without thinking twice.

But if you stop and think, what companies do to your personal information and online records afterward, there is no answer.

This information can be essentially vital in terms of banking channels, personal contacts, and connections, addresses of people you know, social media activity logs, and even your internet IP address.

The only explanation that companies provide consumers is that they use this information and data to enhance your website experiences and help them serve you better.

However, this is not just what they do.

What is GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation

Created by the European Union and its legal experts, GDPR is a fresh addition to the regulations aimed at improving information privacy and consumer rights on the internet.

Although there have been many other laws and regulations in past as well, none of them was comprehensive or effective enough to make a positive difference for the consumers. With even the most serious intentions, the regulators failed to engulf the entire requirements of such law in one set of regulations.

So, they came up with the GDPR. A unique and significantly different regulation from its counterparts. Created and implemented in May 2018, it has transformed the way businesses collect, store and use customer information and data.

This law applies to all business entities selling their products and services and storing the personal information and data of European citizens even if they are working in other continents.

It gives them superior control over the information and data they share with companies and assurance of protection and security all over Europe.

Businesses that Need to Comply

Any business or organization that was established and operates in the European Union has to comply with this regulation. It does not matter where the data processing takes place in world, if even your non-EU business offers products  and services to customers that are European citizens, then you have to abide by the GDPR and its clauses.

As per this law, all organizations need to appoint a dedicated data protection officer or controller who will ensure GDPR is complied with.

Any company, who fails to do so, is liable to heavy fines and penalties.

The Impact of GDPR on the Business Sector

With this differentiated and comprehensive Data Protection Regulation in place, the consumers have become much more secure and protected. Being the dominating party in this process, consumers are the beneficiaries while the businesses have to ensure compliance and enforcement. 

Here are a few of the implications that GDPR has on business entities.

  • Increased Chances of Fines and Penalties

Any breach or non-compliance with the basic regulations of GDPR can land the organization into big trouble in terms of fines and penalties. As serious as it sounds, the European law enforcers are taking all steps and measures to ensure that businesses comply with this regulation and safeguard the interest of their consumers.

With a breach or non-compliance a company may be liable to fines of up to 20 Million Euros or 4% of its total revenue turnover, whichever is greater.

There are also other penalties like scale warnings and periodic data audits for supervision.

  • Reduced Time for Access Requests

Every online business asks its consumers to agree to an information and data access request. Previously this request was for 40 days or more. However, with the GDPR, this access request is not valid for only one month.

Changed the Ways of Customer Engagement

As the GDPR requires a more stringent information and data access request that can be withdrawn by the consumer any time according to his will, it has changed the way businesses communicated and engaged with their clients.

The way the business’s sales team pursued prospects and created leads is now much more regularized. Managing your marketing activities through online platforms is not like before.

Every business needs to review its functions, processes, and information requests to make them compliant with the GDPR.

In order to ensure communication with prospects, every business needs to get a proper consent form filled and then pursue the client.

  • Improved consumer confidence

Any business that is compliant with GDPR will have improved customer confidence and loyalty.

Compliance with this regulation helps you in being designated the title of a secure and trustworthy custodian of consumer information and data.

With regular data audits, careful supervision of all data processing activities and tasks and designation of a dedicated data controller or protection officer, the potential clients will be much more comfortable and confident in engaging with your company.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

As per the requirements of GDPR, you will have to let go of or withdraw any information or data inventory irrelevant to your business. As a consequence, every company will be saving their costs of maintaining these inherited data inventory storage and management software.

With the significant reduction in data storage costs, data and information maintenance, you will also cut down the need for spending valuable human hours and infrastructure resources for the purpose.

  • More Meaningful and Productive Customer Focus

With proper regularized prospect consent, the pursuance of the potential leads and clients will be more focused. Your business and its sales team will be in a better position to engage with customers who are interested in your products or services.

The communication will be more personalized and save you time, money, and efforts in reaching out to uninterested or irrelevant consumers.

  • Stay Up To Date with Technology

The GDPR compliance requires every business to improve their networks, hardware, and software in terms of security and data protection.

With regular up-gradation and evolution, the company and its management keep abreast with the latest trends in the technological sector and adopts innovations proactively.

Incorporating and migrating towards better and improved technologies helps your business ineffective management of consumer demands and data protection requirements.

It also allows your business to provide its consumers technologically advanced and innovatively superior products, services, and processes.

Top 3 Businesses that Are Affected By GDPR

1. Social Media Marketing

This is the most influenced sector of business by the GDPR. With a requirement to fully disclose their intentions and provide clarity to consumers about the storage and use of their information, social media marketers are much more restricted in their actions than they were in the past.

Obligated to obtain a full consent form and access request from the users to store and utilize their information data, the marketers now find it hard to search for client information and track their behaviors and activities for target marketing and profiling.

2. Financial Service Providers

The personal information and data that is collected by banks and financial institutions, is utilized for various processing needs and requirements.

During this, customer’s data and information face exposure to several individuals and third-party dealers.

According to GDPR compliance, every financial service provider must abide by the transparency and protocols of data visibility.

Every bank or financial company must ensure the safety and reliability of data presented at different times and avenues.

3. Ecommerce Businesses

This is one of the hugely impacted sectors of business that has experienced the highest impact after GDPR implementation.

Online retailers and service providers are the most influenced companies of the GDPR circle. Being widely used and strongly dependent on technological mediums of connectivity and communication, online shopping websites need the personal information and activity data of the customers to ensure effective target marketing, advanced metrics and provision of customized solutions and experiences.

Conclusion

The accomplishment of sustainable GDPR goals and compliance may be a little overwhelming for some companies.

However, through proactive implementation, it provides your company the opportunity to become competitive, secure, and reliable.

GDPR helps businesses in improving their efficiencies and in becoming different from the rest. In fact, in many cases, it can act as a competitive advantage for the success and growth of the company.

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