Marketing Team

The GDPR is coming…here’s everything you need to know about it

After years of attracting worldwide speculation and debate, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is virtually upon us.

This time next year, the legislation will be literally a matter of weeks away - come May 2018, it’ll be officially in force. But what does it mean for businesses? And how will it impact the professional printing industry?

Keep reading, this special GDPR Q&A blog, tackles these key questions, and more.

Q. Hasn’t the GDPR already been implemented?

A. Yes, it has. It actually came into force in May last year, but it’s not going to be ‘officially’ enforced until May 25 next year.

Q. Who’s behind it?

A. The European Union (EU). They first proposed it back in January 2012.

Q. What’s with the delay?

A. It’s a two-year introductory period aimed at giving businesses the chance to get themselves sorted for the official arrival of the GDPR.

Q. Does it only apply to certain businesses?

A. Yes, and no. Basically, the GDPR relates to all organisations that handle EU citizens’ data. So, if you collect, store and process people’s personal data, then it applies to you.

Q. What’s going to happen to the Data Protection Act 1998?

A. It’ll be effectively replaced by the GDPR.

Q. Why’s the GDPR being introduced?

A. In a nutshell, due to the fact there are so many businesses and services operating across borders these days, the EU wants to create international consistency around data protection laws and rights for both businesses and citizens.

The new regulation also focuses on the need for transparency and the fact individuals have the right to, and must be given, clear guidance on how their information and details are going to be used by companies.

Q. What sort of impact is the GDPR going to have on the printing industry?

A. The industry’s not going to be directly impacted by the GDPR, although it’s best practice for print companies to review their current data protection processes ahead of its implementation.

Instead, it’s likely the industry will be indirectly impacted by others having to follow new restrictions, such as the new rules aimed at making it tougher for marketers to gain access to personal data.

Q. What do these tougher rules involve?

A. At the moment, when it comes to digital campaigns, companies have to ask people if they’d like to opt-out of receiving communications from them. However, under the GDPR, they’ll have to ask them to opt-in instead.

This is already the case for postal marketing campaigns, but having the same stricter rules apply to digital campaigns will make multi-media campaigns more of a challenge for printers and other businesses to deliver.

Companies will also have to make sure they’re more transparent about what they plan to do with people’s details and won’t be able to assume that silence means they’ve got permission to use their information.

Q. Will there be special protections in place too?

A. Yes. Children’s data and data on health, sexuality and ethnicity will become much more difficult for marketers to obtain, as they’ll be classed as special GDPR categories. Explicit consent will therefore need to be obtained to access these details.

Q. What should people be looking for from their printer once the GDPR hits?

A. At the very least, printers, whether they’re DM houses or transactional printers, will need procedures in place that are robust enough to challenge their customers to verify if their data has been appropriately sourced.

Don’t be surprised if your print company carries our random data spot checks to ensure the GDPR is being followed. Why? Because they have direct legal responsibilities, and if they’re found to be using data that hasn’t been verified, they could also fall foul of the GDPR too.

Q. What are the implications of not complying with the GDPR?

A. Hefty. The GDPR will enforce huge new fines of up to €20m or 4% of a company’s annual turnover for data breaches.

So, there you have it. An overview of what the GDPR means and how it’s going to shape the future of the professional printing industry.

We hope you’ve found this blog useful, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how the GDPR is going to impact your print jobs going forward or how we’re preparing for it, Contact us or talk to one of our team on 01709 710000.

Topics: B&B Press News, be-brilliant, Opinion