By Laura Koulet, Legal Counsel at Tapad — Since the European Parliament and Council agreed upon the new General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) in December 2016, GDPR has been on the forefront of many marketers’ minds. A year later, many companies are actively working with privacy and legal experts, implementing processes to become compliant. For some, this process is daunting and significantly affects the way they have been handling data. For others, it aligns with their current practices and is a mere formality for maintaining operations in Europe.
However, regardless of where you stand in the process, there are several reasons why GDPR should be a welcome regulation for the industry by both marketers and consumers alike. To name a few:
Renews Trust with Consumers
Even if you are the most privacy-conscious company, it’s likely that the average consumer isn’t aware of the day-to-day efforts you make to protect their data and ensure your business is run in a transparent and compliant manner. Privacy policies hosted online are readily available, but is the consumer regularly reading them? In most instances, the answer is most likely not. GDPR gives companies the opportunity to remind consumers of their commitment to privacy and highlight any specific processes or safeguards that are unique to their business.
Europe is one of the most tightly-regulated markets with regard to data collection and processing. Meeting GDPR standards set a high bar and clear commitment to privacy, which only helps to strengthen consumer confidence.
GDPR also has strong implications for not just data privacy, but data security, so adapting to these new standards gives consumers extra assurance in knowing their data isn’t just private, but increasingly secure.
Improves Data Processing and Collection
For companies that need to restructure the way they process and collect data to become compliant, this is also an opportunity to reevaluate their entire protocol and find areas for improvement. Just like renewing a lease gives you the chance to review and revise terms and conditions, perhaps resulting in a better deal, GDPR can serve as a reminder to see how your company could improve data operations.
Preparing for GDPR could also improve the accuracy levels of data stored in a company’s database. This is because the new regulations will require data controllers to rectify any errors as they are told about by customers, which could lead to greater accuracy overall.
Inspires Growth in New Markets
For companies looking to expand outside of EMEA, being GDPR compliant can set the tone for future growth. We found this to be the case when expanding to APAC, where the ad-tech is still a newer industry than in regions like North America.
While GDPR doesn’t directly impact APAC, knowing that a company has already been vetted thoroughly for the compliance and legal standards imposed by GDPR inspires confidence with potential clients. Knowing your current market is of course valuable, but seeing trends in others may point you to where the industry is headed, and best prepare you to already be setup – ahead of competitors – for new regulations.
Demonstrating a firm commitment to privacy in a region with stringent privacy laws, such as Europe, means companies in new markets won’t have to guess about your stance on privacy.
At first glance, it may be easy to just see GDPR as a regulatory measure, but GDPR can be much more than that. It could be the start to renewing consumer trust and could even set the building blocks for global expansion.
At Tapad, our commitment to privacy began well before GDPR, but we welcome any opportunity to further prove our dedication to customers. Ultimately, when done right, upholding customer transparency and privacy can – and should be – a point of pride for your company.
(This piece originally ran on MarTech Series)