Everything you need to know about GDPR (and all of the emails you are receiving)
21st May 2018
Have you been receiving a lot of emails about GDPR and you’re not 100% sure what they are for? Perhaps you have been happily deleting them and are now wondering if that was okay? Or perhaps you just want to know more about the new data protection laws coming into play?
By now, most people would have heard of GDPR, although they may still not know what it means. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is going to be the EU’s biggest personal data reform since 1995. In the wake of the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, a lot of people are welcoming this kind of data reform.
The big day will be May 25th. Although you won’t have to do anything, companies will. From the 25th people will no longer be allowed to have pre-ticked boxes indicating consent to terms and conditions. Plus, all requests for consent must be obvious, so no burying an ‘opt out of the newsletter’ buttons under text.
So why all the emails?
Look at the emails as a period of grace for these changes. Companies that have an ‘existing relationship’ with you are using emails to ensure they have valid consent to maintain a continued relationship. So, simply, they are asking if it’s okay if they still get in contact with you. Think of it as a data spring clean.
If you have been ignoring these emails, it’s worth revisiting them. Some will take being ignored as consent, and some will take it as an automatic opt-out. Potentially because of people ignoring these emails, opt-in rates are currently thought to only be at 10%, which is why a lot of them are offering incentives to keep you hooked.
How is this going to affect me?
It probably won’t (except the sudden influx of emails you’ve been experiencing). But, it will mean from now on you will be less likely to receive what you feel are unsolicited emails, and your data should be in safer hands, with stiffer consequences if anything should happen to it.
It will affect businesses though. The 10% opt-in rate means business are looking at losing a large portion of their conversation avenues with customers, and therefore a large portion of potential sales. It’ll also mean they have to ensure they are sticking to the news laws by May 25th or face a fine of up to €20m (roughly £17.5m) for non-compliance. As well as that any business with over 250 employees will be required to hire a data protection officer.
If data protection law and other legal matters of a similar nature interest you, you could try looking for legal recruitment and get your foot on a fantastic career path.