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GDPR privacy regulations to come into effect on May 25

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Though Mark Zuckerberg first appeared in front of the American Congress to testify just a  week ago, the issue of online privacy is not new. What we’ve seen first-hand with the social media juggernaut of Facebook, though, is that privacy is at the forefront of many minds. This topic will get an even bigger boost by the end of May, as sweeping regulations are coming via the European Union.

It is known as GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation. It was to be put in place as a means of updating the EU’s current data protection policies. The “aim of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world that is vastly different from the time in which the 1995 directive was established.”

Even with the aim on hyper contemporary society, GDPR privacy regulations have been in the works for a number of years. It was debated by EU parliament for just under half a decade and was “finally approved” as the website quipped in April of 2016. It will become officially valid on May 25 of this year.

Here across the pond, it most notably has forced that hand of two of the largest data collecting entities the world over. In response to GDPR privacy regulations, Google announced that their policies will be changed. These changes have drawn the ire of publishers, who are either put off by the data sharing hints on Google’s part as well as the overall vagueness of the changes.

The ball was also in Facebook’s court regarding the GDPR privacy regulations. They created a lengthy page detailing their response. Facebook, by the sounds of things, will fully ensure they’re compliant come May 25. This means that business owners need to only worry about their own compliance, something they should be doing anyway.

Facebook and Google won’t be the only businesses west of the Atlantic to be affected by GDPR privacy regulations. As Martech Today points out, the EU was acutely aware of how small the world has become due to the web. “Recognizing that data can travel well beyond the borders of the EU, GDPR provides protection to EU citizens no matter where their data travels. This means that any company, anywhere, that has a database that includes EU citizens is bound by its rules.”

So, how can North American businesses cope with GDPR privacy regulations? The easy answer seems to point towards blocking European users altogether. Blocking EU users means nothing will be collected in terms of data from them. So, there would be no need to be GDPR compliant. For a handful of businesses that may be fine. But for the vast majority, there is no sense ruling out such a large demographic.

Since you likely would need to put something in place to block EU users, why not put that energy into become GDPR compliant? If that sounds up your alley, there are a few processes that need to occur. Here at ROI, we are very much in favor of working towards GDPR compliance and are currently researching the best processes for executing this. We are looking forward to the attainable challenge of executing this for our clients.

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