Are you living happily ever after in GDPR land?

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Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau by Jaromir 

The data storm isn’t over! GDPR isn’t going anywhere and here is why it’s just beginning.

The next 30 days

After doing all the research, attending workshops, speaking to fellow professionals and being part of the GDPR webinar. I felt I had learnt a lot about data protection, haven’t we all? I’ve read so many articles, received emails from every company I’ve ever thought about and seen the global mass hysteria surround everyone. Thankfully since the deadline passed, it feels like it’s all over.

Some of the biggest companies I’ve been watching have a “mission completed” attitude to GDPR. Other more responsible organisations have maintained their focus and are actively transitioning from a preparatory mindset to an ongoing and living GDPR compliant strategy.

So, what have I learnt in the last month?Before the start of June, three lawsuits were filed against Facebook, Google and Instagram. At the same time there was a large data breach at one of the UK’s biggest electronics retailers Read Here.

One of my local bar chains overhauled their approach to personal data by deleting their entire customer database and my favourite restaurant brand changed to a new ‘Zero Inbox’ email policy. My question is, if big companies are failing, what hope do we have?

Learning

What I’ve learnt from my personal experience is;

  • Be educated — with so many alternative facts and opinions, the best way to cover yourself and your company is to get in contact with a professional. You and your teams should learn as much as you can from varying experiences perhaps both first and second hand. The majority of my GDPR fear came from conversations about people potentially going to jail for not deleting an old customer enquiry email or having a sign in book at reception.
  • Common sense rules — some of the most proactive and compliant companies are small to medium sized forward thinking organisations who took time to understand the changes. Of course there are situations where experts and lawyers should be consulted and then there are those low hanging fruits. Do you need a 10 year old email from a prospective customer? You haven’t thought about it once for a decade and it probably contains personal data you don’t want to have to explain why you still have it. All announcements, posters, files and documents should be scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. Are you due a spring clean?
  • Take caution — It’s better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt, take it out. You’re future you will thank you for it. No more business cards from 2011, old fashioned e-marketing campaigns (7 lessons for the GDPR e-marketeer) or spreadsheets and databases still on computers that aren’t necessary.
  • Create community around common problems — often it’s the challenges we share that bind us together. Many of the people in the communities I’m a part of took GDPR quite seriously. As a result of that there were others like me with reservations and ideas about how to be compliant. Many of us communicated more and even collaborated on projects to get up to speed. In doing that not only do I have detailed GDPR info, I also have a new contact to add to my network.
  • The journey isn’t over — It’s one thing to be compliant today but another to stay that way for the future. This isn’t something that is going to blow over, it’s here to stay so embrace it.

Nightmare, dream or reality?

The law isn’t there to put us all behind bars, the intention is to protect us and our connections from harmful situations. Coming to terms with the newly enforced regulations and being a trusted contact on the subject could be the transition we all need & want. Let’s all come out of the deep dark woods into an open and level playing field.

What do you think now? Has GDPR been as terrible as you thought it would be? Are there any positives to take away from this situation and what would you like to see next in our GDPR review later in the year?

See this article and others at — https://coworkingassembly.eu/

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