Whether you’re in the ‘do it all at the last minute’ camp or the ‘take action now to avoid panic later’ faction. GDPR is coming.
The date it becomes part of our legislation is 25 May 2018. And that’s not the point at which you have to take action. It’s the point at which all your data management systems must be compliant.
What does GDPR mean to you and your customers and contacts?
GDPR is meant to protect the customer. It requires that:
- Out-of-date customer data must be destroyed
- Any customer data must be removed when requested
- Contact data for other business contacts can only be stored with the permission of the person whose data it is.
If you’re using a digital CRM system this will be straightforward. But it can be more of a challenge if your data is on tape, other physical media – including paper!
For example, a former customer wanted their data removed you would need not only to remove them from your onsite and cloud systems, but also have to invest time and effort in reviewing all your physical backups to delete their information from that too. Additionally, if data is stored in a medium that cannot be edited, removing one person’s data can mean destroying everything on that storage medium – not ideal.
This means that your first step to compliance is to ensure that all your data records are stored on digital media and can be edited.
Where do you start?
Firstly, being a small business is not an excuse. The ‘it won’t happen to me’ approach isn’t realistic. The Information Commissioner’s Office and Data Protection team have already made it clear that they will be actively checking compliance.
As well as this; if your contacts and customers are not already stored on secure digital systems. Now is the time to start making plans for that transfer to take place. Also, if you leave it all until next May and you could experience a significant drop in productivity or additional costs to engage temporary staff to transfer data over. If you plan for your staff to do a little each week from now, the pressure and costs will be much less.
It’s a lot to take on board, but a bit of planning now, will save you headaches later.