When you see a regulation that promises to hit any violator anywhere in the world with a fine of up to either €20million or 4% of annual global turnover — whichever is greater — it tends to get your attention.
That’s what the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation promises to do when it goes into effect on 25 May 2018.
All companies with a global presence — especially digital — are indeed taking this law seriously.
After all, this has happened before, like when the United States Congress belatedly realized after they passed the Radio Act of 1927, broadcast waves don’t rightly care about stopping at state lines.
It actually took seven years for the government to catch up with this reality, which brought about the Communications Act of 1934. That’s still the American law in force today.
While some authoritarian nations have found ways to jam the pipes of cyberspace, the internet still has the same disregard for political boundaries as broadcast waves.
Thus, as an online marketer, your missives can easily have an audience in the European Union and some may have wound up on your e-mail lists.
And again, size doesn’t matter.
This is why virtually every social platform and online service is sending you updated privacy notices you’re being asked to acknowledge.
Twitter wasted no time getting front and center with theirs, especially since the news revealed they had their own brush with Cambridge Analytica.
Here’s the pertinent part:
Shopify store owners are affected by GDRP, too.
They’ve likely seen notices like this from the companies whose apps they’ve integrated into the operations:
Yes. Yes they are.
Is it any surprise, though, that Facebook is still a partial holdout?
According to the Reuters news service:
- Facebook will be updating its TOS with users in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America to inform them that they will now be governed under their terms of service for users are in America, which is outside of the GDPR’s reach.
- The change will allow Facebook to skirt the privacy protections that 1.5billion of its users would have been granted from 25 May onward when the GDPR goes into effect.
Basically, despite Facebook’s assertions in recent weeks that it cares deeply about protecting its customer’s data, it’s not going to let a new pesky data protection privacy law get in the way of collecting as much data about their users as possible.
Then again, Facebook gives ground grudgingly, no matter what Mark Zuckerberg & Co say to the contrary.
While they’re fighting to keep control of their business model, the rest of us can easily avoid such battles by creating a simple form for any visitor who wishes to share their details with us.
Let’s put this in perspective:
If your list ever grows to 500,000 names or more, you can start thinking about implementing Step 5.
Until then, if you’re just collecting basic information, a well-crafted squeeze page can cover all bases.
Here’s an example, compliments of AWeber:
This squeezer clearly explains how a subscriber’s personal data will be used, which is to receive information on the products mentioned.
Just follow this compliance checklist:
- Have I made it clear to the subscriber what information I am collecting?
- Have I made it clear to the subscriber why I am collecting their information?
- Have I made it clear what information I will be sending them?
- Have I made it clear how often I will be sending them information?
Many autoresponder services are including GDPR form templates to ensure your compliance is complete.
As an example, here’s what the MyMailIt software — where you own your autoresponder as opposed to paying a monthly subscription fee — includes to make form-building a simple data-entry process:
The code can then be incorporated with one of the built-in templates …
… and in a matter of minutes, you’ve got a GDPR-compliant squeeze page.
The motivated marketer won’t think of GDPR as just another task to include. Rather, it’s a golden opportunity:
- You’ll gain your visitors’ trust by being transparent about your information, and
- You’ll be adding value to your funnel by itemizing the features they’ll receive.
Given big tech’s seeming inability to police itself, it’s odds-on we’ll see governmental bodies elsewhere imposing similar regulations in the near future.
When that day comes, you’ll be ready, and just possibly a step up on your competition.