3 Reasons Non-EU Businesses Should Care About GDPR

Hummingbird CreativeBranding & Creative

If your work is on the Internet, like us, then you’ve should have heard about the General Data Privacy Regulation (or, better known as the GDPR). Starting on May 25, 2018, this new regulation will impact the way marketers do their jobs and how organizations obtain, store and manage the data of EU citizens. This will affect information from:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • The United Kingdom
  • and more

If you’re interested in a complete list, you can view all 28 countries here.

This is big news but, unfortunately, in a study conducted by HubSpot, only 36% of marketers have heard of the GDPR and 15% of businesses have done nothing, risking non-compliance with these new regulations.

No matter if you’re in Canada, America or Australia, if you handle data from EU citizens, the GDPR will apply to you and your business. Businesses in non-EU countries will be required to pay possible penalties for violating the GDPR, and these fines can hurt a business. If you’re found non-compliant, you could be on the hook for €20 million or 4% of your global annual revenue– whichever is greater.

There’s a lot of information about the GDPR out there but it can be hard to understand exactly how this will affect those of us outside of the EU.

reason 1: the GDPR empowers consumers

This does not cover non-EU residents but it’s important for any business to understand.

The goal of the GDPR is to take the onus off the consumer when it comes to protecting personal data and place it on the company responsible. Every company that collects personal information has to make sure the consumer has given their express consent. This removes the idea of “implied consent” through actions like continued use of the site or inactions.

The GDPR even sets standards for this disclosure: the consumer’s information needs to be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” with companies using “clear and plain” legal language free from unnecessary add-ons. The company collecting the data must also provide evidence that their process is compliant from start to finish.

You’ll have to work harder to attract customers and gain their attention. More power is being placed in the hands of the consumer and businesses have to show them the respect they deserve.

Individuals are also given new rights under the GDPR. They will be granted the “right to be forgotten”– whoever has collected the data must contact any companies downstream of consumer deletion requests.

reason 2: you may need new internal procedures

When you’re dealing with consumer privacy, you should already be careful about how you collect and store that information. The GDPR is mandating what should be common sense but there are some finer points to understanding how to protect your European Union consumers’ data.

Companies will be required to perform Data Privacy Impact Assessments (DPIA) when using new technologies and developing new systems. A company must evaluate the potential impact new initiatives might have on an individual’s privacy and come up with ways to mitigate those issues before they arise.

Data Privacy Officers (DPOs) will also be required in some EU businesses to oversee compliance efforts. Public authorities, data monitoring companies and companies who process sensitive information are currently the only ones who will be required to employ a DPO once the regulation goes into effect.

Non-EU companies who process information about EU residents may find it beneficial to consult with someone similar to a DPO to ensure their practices are compliant.

All organizations who capture data from EU residents need to review their Privacy Notices, Privacy Statements and any internal data policies to remain compliant with the GDPR. If you work with a third party to process the data, your business must review the contracts to ensure the third party updates to include the new, mandatory Processor provisions laid out in Article 28 of the regulation.

reason 3: it sets a higher bar for your marketing efforts

It’s easy to look at the new regulations in the European Union, shrug your shoulders and say who cares. But, the GDPR can actually be beneficial to your marketing efforts. The GDPR will forcibly raise the bar for marketers meaning we need to turn to fresh thinking and innovative ideas.

This need for fresh and innovative ideas will start in Europe but trends, as trends tend to do, will start sweeping across the world. Data collection platforms, like MParticle, that are used globally will need to issue updates that will affect more than just European Union businesses.

The GDPR is causing many organizations to reconsider their marketing efforts– but is that really a bad idea? This is a huge opportunity for businesses to show their customers how important their data is to them and forces businesses to provide more value in exchange for that information.

From the same HubSpot study, marketers are already expecting consequences.

  • 33% expect lead conversion rates to go down
  • 37% expect their marketing routine to be affected
  • 41% expect to use more external platforms to process a lead’s personal data
  • 51% expect their marketing lists to get smaller

Europe view the GDPR favorably which means your marketing methods need to reflect that. Transparency is highly valued in today’s world and it can be viewed as a part of brand awareness– a part that’s dictated by pretty strict rules.

Do you want an agency that looks out for your best interests and stays on top of all the latest trends and news?

Look no further than Hummingbird Creative Group; our team of creative branding professionals has got you covered! We know exactly how to navigate the changing digital landscape. Schedule a call today to see how we can help your business. Contact us today!