GDPR, Its Impact & What you can do to make Your Website Compliant? - The Search Marketing Shop

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation for protecting the privacy and personal data of European Union citizens. It covers data protection across transactions that take place within the EU member states. Failure to comply can mean huge fines and additional penalties. As a website owner, it is important for you to know what GDPR is, how it can affect your website and business, and what steps you should take for compliance.

What is GDPR?

The GDPR is a replacement to the data protection directive of 1995. The regulation was adapted in April of 2016 and will come into force in May 2018. It has created new standards for consumer rights relevant to their data. If you have a website with visitors, you are going to use consumer data and thus it will be essential to comply with this regulation. It regulates not just the transactions occurring within the EU member states, but also the export of personal data outside the union.

How GDPR Affects your Website?

The GDPR comes into force on 25th May, 2018. If you fail to comply with the regulation, you stand to face hefty penalties. The maximum penalty has been stipulated at 4% of your annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater. Thus, every business, small or big needs to take all the measures to ensure that they are complying with the law.

What Steps Should Developers Take?

As a developer or a website owner, you should take the following steps to comply with the new regulation.

1. Perform an Audit of Personal Data

Conduct an audit of personal data to identify all the data processors. Make sure to categorise the data into first and third party data processors. Evaluate each data processor based on the following points:

  • Application of the data
  • Storage of the data
  • Future need for the data

Check the privacy policies of each third party data processor that may be associated with your website. Also make sure that they are compliant with GDPR. If you have US-based third party data processors, make sure that they are compliant with Privacy Shield.

You will have to contact the third party to ensure that they comply with GDPR or Privacy Shield contact. If they don’t plan to become compliant by the specific date, you will have to consider replacing them with another provider who is compliant. It will also be required to contact the current third-party provider (who is not compliant or doesn’t plan to comply by the date) and get details of the data they have about your consumers/users. Make sure that they will delete the data in a secure manner from their systems and backups.

2. Announce Personal Data Audit in Your Privacy Policy

It is of significant importance to GDPR compliance that you communicate effectively to your users about the data you collect from them. Let them know the process by which you collect their data, what data it is, and the reasons why you need it. Make this announcement in the privacy policy page of your website. Make sure to be as clear and concise about it. Allow them to request a copy of the information. Also let them to make a request for deletion of the data if they want it so.

3. Address all the Weak Links

It is highly likely that you will come across any vulnerability in your website when the personal data audit is performed. This can include:

  • Third party data processors that are non-compliant with GDPR or Privacy Shield contact (as already mentioned above)
  • Unencrypted website traffic or email accounts
  • Database storing data from contact forms on your website

It is highly likely that all the contacts have been replied or addressed and there is no longer any need for keeping such data.

4. Designate Data Protection Officer

You can outsource this position or have a trained employee take over the position. If you don’t have large scale personal data processing, a data protection officer could be a well-informed employee who has all the knowledge.

If your website has data that can personally identify your users, it will be best to pseudonymising the data. It will require you to get professional help from security experts to ensure there is total GDPR compliance.

Does the Brexit Impact GDPR Compliance?

25th May, 2018 is the date for websites and businesses to comply with GDPR. The GDPR will come into effect while the UK is still a member of the EU. So, websites and businesses in the UK will have to comply with the personal data protection regulation. It is also worth adding that the UK is adopting all EU regulations after the Brexit. Businesses will still have to comply with the regulations if they will be providing services to EU residents or citizens.

For more information about GDPR compliance and ensuring that your website fully meets the requirements before the deadline, it is recommended to visit and get help from the professionals.