Keys to Customer Data Protection in the UK Now that GDPR is Here.

Author:Boullin, Lindsay

Protecting customer data should always be a top priority for businesses. But doing so is increasingly extending beyond moral responsibility and taking on the form of legal requirement. As you've surely heard, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect May 25. This set of regulations, which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, legislates online data rights for any organisation that sells products or services to European Union (EU) customers.

Complying with these new rules can be daunting, particularly since there's still a lot of confusion regarding the specifics of these new rules and requirements. But, if you can understand these five keys to customer data protection, it will go a long way toward helping your business achieve compliance.

Familiarise yourself with GDPR's definition of personal data.

If you find the new data laws perplexing, you're not alone. About one-third of surveyed businesses owners said they were confused by the GDPR. In order to comply with rules, you must first understand them--and that starts with GDPR's definition of personal data.

Personal data protection is a key component to the legislation and one that's crucial to fully comprehend. The GDPR broadly defines personal data as any information that can directly or indirectly identify a person. The lengthy list of personal data identifiers ranges from a person's name and address to their workplace and appearance. Essentially, the definition includes any information that would directly identify a specific individual, or information that could indirectly pinpoint a person through a combination of data.

Much of the information you've recorded about individuals in your CRM is likely considered personal under GDPR. With this in mind, it's critical to keep your CRM's data secure, and ensure it's managed in a compliant fashion.

Data usage and storage compliance.

The right CRM can work wonders when it comes to complying with GDPR's data usage and storage rules. As you probably know, new data protection principles require personal data to be used fairly, legally and transparently. It must also be collected for specific purposes--and used for only for those specified purposes. Data must be deleted when it's no longer being used for its initial, intended purpose.

It might sound overwhelming, but complying with this new set of usage and storage compliance is perfectly manageable. A CRM can help small businesses track how users are logging and using information...

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