How To Be GDPR Compliant: Protecting User Data in 7 Simple Steps

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Is your website GDPR compliant? If not, you're in the right place. Stay with us as we review how to be GDPR compliant. What is the GDPR, you may be wondering if you haven't heard the term before? 

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect on May 25, 2018. If your business is not in compliance by now, you are risking being assessed significant financial penalties. Here's what you need to know.

What is Being GDPR Compliant?

The General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, was overhauled in 2018. The new rules directly affect how businesses process and handle the data of European citizens. It doesn't matter if your company isn't located in Europe, if your customers do, you must be compliant with the GDPR. 

Besides, GDPR has had a significant effect on websites and how they integrate with other digital activities, such as email marketing, social media, and e-commerce. The concept of consent needs to be freely given, be specific, and be informed is the golden thread that binds all the recommendations under the GDPR and is being strengthened with new rules that means businesses now need to provide more transparency.

How to Be GDPR Compliant?

Here are seven steps you will want to review for your website. Remember to discuss any needed changes with your website development team. The two fundamental tenets of GDPR regulations are simple: keep customer data secure and make marketing communications as clear as possible.

Should you not comply with the laws, it can result in a severe fine that starts at 500,000 Euros up to 20 million Euros or up to 4% of your annual turnover. 

The motive behind the change to the EU regulation is consumers and customers against data breaches. Many EU firms have fallen victim to data breaches, and the costs are rising. So, the EU wants to keep customer information secure as well as marketing communications clear.

This article from Be Structured can help you understand the importance of identity management. 

1. Forms

Any forms that you use to invite visitors to receive your newsletter or specify contact preferences must be set to "no" or be blank. You should check your forms to make sure this is the case. 

2. Unbundled Opt-In

Make sure that the permission you are requesting for is separate and states the requirements for accepting terms and conditions, along with the acceptance of consent for other ways of using their data.  

3. Granular Opt-In

Visitors must be able to grant consent in separate sections or statements for various kinds of processing. For example, tick boxes for what methods of contact they prefer, like email, phone, or standard mail.

4. Easy to Unsubscribe or Withdraw Permission

Unsubscribing or withdrawing permission must be as easy as signing up. Visitors and users need to understand that they own the power to unsubscribe or withdraw their permission at any time. 

5. Named Parties

Any forms on your site must specify the name for whom the consent has been permitted. For instance, a statement that declares I, Ms. X, prefer not to be contacted by the XYZ company or XYZ group of companies.

6. Privacy Notice&Terms and Conditions

You will need to provide clear terms and conditions on your site that mention GDPR terminology. Several sites generate one for you once you go through their online interview. In particular, you will need to clearly state in transparent terms what will be done with the data once you've received it and how long you will hold this information on your website and your office systems.

7. Online Payments

If you are involved in e-commerce on your website and use a payment gateway for payments. Your website may be collecting personal information during the transaction process before handing it off to the payment gateway.

Other Requirements

The fact is the GDPR is very complicated. Other requirements for GDPR compliance can include: 

  • Third-party tracking software 

The use of tracking applications raises some issues in terms of GDPR compliance. These apps track customers in ways they wouldn't foresee and for which they didn't give consent. Make the suppliers of any third-party apps are in compliance and are following the rules of permission required by the GDPR.

  • Google analytics

Google Analytics has always been an anonymous tracking system. There isn't any "personal data" collected. Due to this, there isn't any requirement from GDPR for compliance needed.

  • Google tag manager

Businesses that use Tag Manager need to ensure they have a contract in place with the individuals that have access to your Tag Manager and make sure they are clear on their legal responsibilities concerning compliance with GDPR. Doing so protects you and them. 

  • Obtaining explicit consent to use cookies 

The GDPR states that cookies on a website constitute personal data, as they can be used to identify an individual. What this means is you must get explicit and specific consent from visitors to put cookies and track them. To be in compliance, you cannot have a default answer (like accept). 

You must require the input from the customer to pick an option. If they don't explicitly consent, you can't place cookies on their browser. The site will still be accessible without cookies; however, any personalization features will be lost.

  • Ensure your website plugins comply with GDPR

Many plugins collect and use customer information. You need to check how they use that information since your plugins must also comply with GDPR.

Lastly, remember that GDPR goes beyond your website. Be aware that all of the changes that have been introduced with GDPR will saturate your entire business. As you start planning the detail of your website, you will uncover a mysterious cave full of issues. 

What's Next 

Now that you have the information you need, it's time to get working on your website. Remember that consent is the key and that these requirements help keep everyone safe from data breaches. Be sure to find the best resources while putting your site together to make sure you comply with GDPR.

Knowing how to be GDRP compliant is vital for every business owner. If you liked this article, come back to read more. 


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