Are there any positives from the primary 12 months of GDPR?

The primary anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) arrives on 25 May 2019. Discussions about GDPR typically obtain about as a constructive a reception as Brexit, however are there any positives that corporations can take after a 12 months of residing with the brand new guidelines?

Nobody would counsel that preparing for GDPR was a straightforward or in style course of. It wasn’t, and even customers and regulators discovered it rather trying. Nonetheless, as it’s one thing that couldn’t and may’t be ignored, why not not less than attempt to get as a lot out of it as potential and embrace the alternatives it might current? Listed here are among the key alternatives for corporations to embrace now as GDPR beds in:

Price financial savings

Information safety laws has at all times held as a core precept the truth that private knowledge shouldn’t be held for longer than is important for the aim for which it was collected. GDPR didn’t change this, however given its new obligations round accountability, and naturally the upper penalties for breaches, this brought on mounting panic concerning the deletion of datasets within the run-up to the 25 Could 2018 deadline.

Though it’s a commonsense precept, deciding on applicable knowledge retention durations after which enacting them throughout a number of techniques – many licensed quite than owned, and so with completely different ranges of management – is just not an easy train. Many corporations turned tied up in knots on this space or engaged consultants charging large sums to introduce difficult programmes.

However the easy reality is that holding much less knowledge is, finally, not solely higher from a compliance perspective, however will also be cheaper. Many an organization discovered the act of deleting outdated, unused datasets surprisingly liberating and constructive as soon as they began – not fairly Marie Kondo ranges of pleasure, maybe, however the storage value financial savings definitely helped.

Information technique

The opposite alternative {that a} GDPR data spring clean introduced was the prospect to higher perceive – maybe for the primary time, in lots of instances – what datasets truly exist inside an organization. Information of the information you maintain already is so vital for informing knowledge technique, which, in flip, is so central to progress and innovation in most companies immediately.

All too typically, as a result of knowledge has sat in remoted silos with completely different gatekeepers, corporations don’t have the visibility to make choices round knowledge partnerships or progress, and generally even license externally to acquire knowledge or insights at a price, when in actual fact the knowledge already exists proper beneath their nostril. 


GDPR has certainly brought consumer trust issues round knowledge to the fore, hitting newsfeeds on an nearly each day foundation. The biggest tech corporations can’t escape it and have been reacting by guaranteeing that privacy heads the agenda in CEO speeches and conferences.

Nonetheless, too few different corporations have recognised the chance that GDPR represents to have interaction with customers about how their knowledge is used and to take action in a method that’s compelling and completely different.

It’s a authorized obligation to set out how private knowledge is utilized in a privateness coverage or different type of discover and to reply to knowledge topic rights queries – however no particular person is impressed to learn the usual “we take the security and protection of your personal data very seriously” sort messaging. It’s shocking how few corporations with fabulous advertising and marketing and design groups don’t utilise them in relation to speaking and shaping knowledge compliance programmes.

Some corporations rose to the problem and supply good examples. EasyJet has a wonderful, easy privateness video, which opens with a member of the cabin crew making ready the aircraft and viewers for the privateness promise that follows. It explains much better than only a privateness coverage can how the corporate makes use of private knowledge.

Not solely is that this a greater communication software for complicated data, but it surely has additionally been a profitable model promotion – the video on YouTube has acquired greater than 62,000 views, and social media responses have been constructive. Different corporations utilizing a video to nice impact are LinkedIn and Channel 4.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK regulator for GDPR) encourages such methods and has embraced them by utilizing a sequence of infographics on completely different subjects as a further option to the usual privateness discover of explaining the way it makes use of private knowledge.

Equally, quite than seeing knowledge topic entry and different requests as merely a ache, corporations ought to contemplate this as a proactive engagement by a person with the model that needs to be responded to as positively as you’ll to somebody participating with you thru a social media channel. Many corporations would kill for extra direct client interactions, so make each one depend.

New types of engagement

It was unhappy to see a lot confusion within the run-up to GDPR round consent for direct advertising and marketing. This resulted in lots of corporations deleting components of their advertising and marketing databases on the again of disastrous re-consent campaigns to a fatigued inhabitants, even the place there could have been different options for compliance.

Making an attempt to see any positives in any respect on this could seem difficult. Nonetheless, some corporations had been pressured to be extra artistic and imaginative in buyer engagement channels. They mirror, with hindsight, that counting on a volume-based e-newsletter attain was maybe false consolation, and different extra nuanced and tailor-made experiences are much better at getting outcomes.

So 25 Could mustn’t simply be a date for a sigh of aid at surviving a 12 months with out a type of scary fines everybody warned you about – however effectively carried out, all the identical. It must also be a date for reflecting on the positives you got out of GDPR previously 12 months. For those who can’t consider any, then one other look and a rethink should reap some rewards.

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