It’s rather appropriate that the rock band Europe recorded the hit “The Final Countdown”, because today, April 5th, represents 50 days until the much anticipated European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25th 2018.
The objective of this legislation is to strengthen the security and privacy of the individuals’ data across all EU Member States. It gives every EU resident the right to know and decide how their personal data is being used, stored, transferred and deleted.
With the rapid advancement of digital technology, organizations have become more sophisticated in how they market to their customers and prospects. Gathering increasing volumes of data enables identification of an individual, through User IDs, IP addresses, loyalty cards or even location data, to create more personalized messaging. Unfortunately, the digital age has also created many challenges. Data breaches of increasing proportion, especially the recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, are well-documented. Resulting in regulations like GDPR for data governance and protection of personal data.
Organizations, irrespective of geographical location, who view GDPR as just another regulatory requirement will be at a competitive disadvantage to those who embrace the legislation to improve their business and long-term future. In a recent article by my colleague, John Timmerman, suggested that it may be the best thing to happen to marketing.