You’ve probably heard a lot about the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in the last couple of months. (If you have not, then it’s high time you get out of whichever cave you have been living-in and re-join the civilization) With the GDPR implementation date (i.e. 25the May, 2018) getting nearer, businesses are super-busy in making themselves GDPR compliant. And this means, they have to take on the gigantic task of adopting a whole new approach about how to collect, store and use customers’ data.
The good news is, you don’t have to lose your sleep over it! You can achieve GDPR compliance with CRM in a much easier and systematic manner. How? Before we delve deep into it, let us first see what GDPR is and whether it at all affects you.
GDPR focuses on providing EU citizens with greater control over their personal data. In this age when data breaches and online frauds have become rampant, this regulation aims at assuring citizens that their data is securely protected and they have complete knowledge as well as control of how the data is being used. The regulation comes with increased territorial scope (which means, businesses who are not based in EU can be penalized too), stern penalties for non-compliance and strong focus on consent.
Today, most businesses treat customer data the way they see fit. Many businesses capture customer data without proper consent and exploit the same as much as possible. And this includes, contact information, buying patterns, financial information and often sensitive personal information. In short, businesses today collect way more information than they actually require and often exploit the same with little care. GDPR aims at remedying the situation by acknowledging absolute right of the data subject (i.e. the person whose data is being collected) over any data collected and/or processed by an organization. The regulation also makes it essential for organizations to ensure fair data collection, storage and usage practices.
The first and foremost thing to understand about GDPR is, it does not matter whether you, as a business is operating from a European Union territory or not. If you have even one customer who is an EU citizen, then your data policies must be GDPR compliant. And thus, the ground-breaking data protection regulation affects a huge number of businesses all over the world who serve or sell to an international clientele.
So, whether your business is based in European Union or you have customers residing in EU territory, GDPR affects your business equally.
Keeping this extensive territorial scope in mind, it is essential for every business operating out of or serving customers in EU to understand the basic principles of GDPR.
1 . Lawful, Fair, and Transparent Processing of Data: This principle strongly emphasizes on the need for fairness and transparency for processing any data related to EU citizens. GDPR strongly advocates that the data subject i.e. the person whose data is being collected by any organization has the absolute right to know what data is being collected and how it is being collected. Not only this, the data subject has the right to ask any question regarding the collected data, and the organization in question must answer those with utmost honesty. For example, if you are an EU citizen and you have purchased a service that requires you to submit some personal information, you can rightfully ask the service provider about how the data is being used or who is the data protection officer responsible for the safe-keeping of such data.
2 . Purpose Limitation: I’m pretty sure that you’ve encountered one of those dreadful forms with 20 fields, at least once in your lifetime. Are they really necessary? Data is power in today’s world. And more often than not, organizations are tempted to ask for and store even those information that are not essential for serving the customers. GDPR is focused on cutting down on this practice. Simply put, this principle dictates that organizations must not collect any information that does not have any purpose in serving the customer.
3 . Data Minimization: This principle is much similar to Data Limitation. As the second principle requires the organization to have a genuine purpose for collecting any data, this one ensures that organizations collect minimum personal data for their purpose. Keeping in mind the rampant business practice of collecting and compiling every piece of data for purposes such as consumer behavior mapping, re-targeting etc., this principle will force organisations to take a minimalist approach.
4 . Accurate and Up-to Date Processing: This principle needs organizations to make focused efforts towards keeping all data accurate, valid and ready for purpose. Complying with this may be a bit difficult when a business is handling a large amount of data, no doubt. But, keeping your data banks in order and up-to date will help you foster stronger customer relationship in the long run and contribute towards overall business growth.
5 . Limitation of Storage in the Form That Permits Personal Identification: This principle discourages ruthless data redundancy and replication. Limiting how the data is stored and moved, as well as how long the data is stored, the main concern for this principle is how the subject will be identified in case of any data breach. To comply with this principle, organizations must have greater control over the storage and movement of any and all the data collected by them. Centralizing data storage and implementing strong data retention policies are the two main concerns for businesses here.
6 . Confidential and Secure: This principle marks all data (be it paper records or electronic records) as confidential and protects its integrity and privacy by making organizations solely responsible for taking appropriate security measures. While most organizations have some kind of data security measures in place, GDPR implementation would mean that businesses will have to spend adequate resources to ensure stricter security policies, dynamic access control, and identity verification for all users who have access to the data.
7 . Accountability and Liability: Last but not the least, this principle dictates that organizations must be able to demonstrate their GDPR compliance to the governing bodies as and when needed. According to this principle, businesses must be sure that every step of GDPR implementation is auditable and can be complied quickly and efficiently as evidence if needed.
To sum up, as a business you not only have to implement GDPR in your business, but also must make the implementation auditable. On one hand, you must abide by all the data collection and processing guidelines laid out by GDPR. On the other hand, you have be able to retrieve, produce and delete any data collected and processed by you at any given point of time.
A gigantic work, right? More so for organizations who do not have a centralized data storage. Here, implementing a Customer Relationship Management system, aka a CRM can go a long way in making your business GDPR compliant.
Customer Relationship Management or CRM system is a tool that helps businesses with better contact management, interaction management, sales tracking, workflow processes, productivity and more. When implemented effectively, a CRM centralizes all your customer data, drives productivity by making it easier to store, retrieve and modify information seamlessly across organization.
So, to come back to the original question, let us see how CRM implementation can help your business become GDPR compliant.
It’s high-time to implement a GDPR compliant CRM for your business. Click on the link below to get in touch with our CRM experts today and make your business GDPR ready!