15 Aug'17

Over-exaggerations and inaccuracies around GDPR

Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, lists and responds to the myths surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is set to come into force in May 25th. For the full article, click on to the link here.


Denham makes the point that it is true that the 1998 Data Policy Act will be amended, and be known as GDPR.


Some of the key changes are: companies need to provide clear and easy-to-read information about the processing of personal data, individuals have the right to request for their personal data to be deleted immediately, without fines, and individuals can object to direct marketing.


For the complete overview of GDPR, and to ensure your company is prepared for the new legislation, go on to the link here.


With D-Day drawing nearer, GDPR has been reported on extensively. The issue with mass reporting is that it often leads to the circulation of over-exaggerations, and inaccuracies.


For example, Campaign published an article with the headline, ‘GDPR will render 75% of UK marketing data obsolete’. The opening line of the report reads,


‘The data audit, conducted by W8 data, found that only 25% of existing customer data meets GDPR requirements.’


It is important to know that W8 data are ‘data cleansing specialists’, offering to examine companies’ data to identify duplicate clients records. In turn, by launching this study they are promoting their company’s services. This makes The Report question how objective this study is? Do their statistics include the giant companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon that are data wealthy?


In addition, the term ‘customer data’ is very broad and vague. Is the study referring to emails addresses? IP addresses? Telephone numbers? All three? None of these?


By analysing the above article, and it is true for many, we can see why there are myths around GDPR.


Denham makes some very strong points that disrupt the perception that GDPR is solely about the increase in fines. Although the fine is increasing from the £500,000 limit to €20 million or 4% of turnover, she argues that the purpose of the new law is to protect consumers rather than simply to fine companies.


In the article, readers are assured that GDPR will be used ‘proportionally and judiciously’, and states that it is not often maximum fines are given. For this reason, Denham judges those companies that are taking out further insurance in case they are faced with a large fine as odd; ‘why not simply concentrate on complying with the law rather than trying to avoid the consequences’.


The Report, a publisher of the lead generation marketing technology company Overmore, understands the importance of not only attaining clean data, but attaining it legally. Although this is a growing concern within the modern-day digital marketing industry, companies should take this as an opportunity to clean up their data rather than as a point of fear.



Feature image credit: ‘GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation’, by Descrier. Licensed by CC BY 2.0