WTF Is The GDPR And How You Can Easily Get Compliant Before The Deadline

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Spending any amount of time on the internet lately you have probably seen people losing their minds over the GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation. You may be one of those people losing their minds or you could be one of the few who have not yet heard of this interesting and rather boring piece of regulation.

Either way, I am going to do my best to break this down for you and help you understand what it means to you, the small business owner. I will also give you the scoop on an AMAZING resource to help you easily and affordably get this shizz taken care of.

Not sure what the GDPR is or if you need to comply? Let be break it down for and give you n easy resources t make sure you already before the May 25th deadline.

Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase from the link I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products that I absolutely love and stand behind.

Before I dive in I want to give you a little disclaimer… I am not a lawyer and the information in this post, while helpful to you, is not in any way to be considered legal advice. If you have in-depth questions regarding the GDPR and what it means for you and your business I recommend seeking the advice of legal counsel.

Now that is out of the way lets take a look at what the GDPR is and what it could mean for your business.

 

WTF is the GDPR?

 

If you aren’t sure what the GDPR is let me break it down for you without all the legal terms.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is all about protecting the personal data of citizens of the EU. The GDPR is designed to give the citizens of the EU more control of their own personal information once they input into a businesses database.

In simple terms, the GDPR sets a standard that once a citizen from the EU gives you, a business, any personal information you must live up to certain safeguards of that information. More on this in a moment.

 

Do You Need To Comply?

 

This is probably the biggest question you have because if you do need to get your business ready you only have until May 25th. That’s right less than one month to make sure if you have to follow the GDPR that you are.

So do you need to comply with these new regulations? Possibly. If any of the following apply to your business chances are you will need to start getting your business ready.

 

1. Your business is in the EU or UK or you sell directly or work with others in the EU or UK

 

If your business is physically located in the EU you will need to comply with these new regulations. If your business is not physically in a country that is a member of the EU or UK but you work with other businesses or individuals located inside the EU or UK you will need to comply with the GDPR.

 

2. Your business advertises to customers in the EU or UK

 

If you run any advertising campaigns that target the EU you will need to comply with the GDPR. That goes for Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest advertising as well.

 

3. Your business advertises in the language of an EU country

 

If you run advertising in a language used by any country within the EU you will need to comply. That means if you run a Facebook ad in German or French you will need to comply.

 

4. Your business has an internet suffix for that country

 

When you get a URL for your business you are in many cases given the option to purchase other domain suffixes besides just .com. If you run your business website and any suffix that relates to a country within the EU, such as .fr (France) or .uk (United Kingdom) you will need to use the new regulations

 

5. Your business accepts currency for that country

 

If you run an e-commerce website and you sell services and products to people within the EU and you accept their countries currency… you’ll have to comply with the GDPR. Now there is one small caveat with this, and that is it doesn’t matter whether the products you offer are paid or free. Even if you offer a “free” product you will still need to comply.

 

6. Your business collects personal information or behavioral data from anyone in the EU

 

This is the one that will probably be the one that wraps most of us up in the GDPR compliance and it has to do with the territorial scope of this regulation. Just because your business is outside the EU and doesn’t actively sell to EU citizens doesn’t mean you will be exempt.

 

Because the GDPR protects EU and UK citizens personal information, including IP address information, if you are using Google analytics it’s a good idea to make your business complaint. While Google is safeguarding its side and becoming GDPR compliant that doesn’t mean you’re covered. According to Google’s Privacy policy, it is your sole responsibility when using Google analytics and if you violate that agreement Google could boot your analytics account.

Now, remember there are many nuances in this new regulation so always seek out the advice of a lawyer who is familiar with the GDPR.

 

 

What The GDPR Means For You

 

So what does the GDPR mean for you, especially if you are business owner outside the EU?

If you must comply with the GDPR there are few things you will be required to do by law.

 

1. Be transparent about the data you collect

 

If you are collecting names and email addresses of citizens in the EU to send them your email newsletter you need to be clear about exactly what that information will be used for. Same goes for mailing address, date of birth, credit card information etc.

 

2. Only gather relevant information

 

If you are only sending marketing emails to EU citizens make sure you only gather the information you need and nothing more. Do you really need to know their last name? If not, don’t ask them to input that information for you. The rule of thumb is to only ask for the information you absolutely must have to perform an action (send an email, process a payment etc)

 

3. Get consent from the individuals before using their information

 

Gone are the days of just asking for a name and email address. Now you have to get explicit content from the individual before using that information. That means letting them know exactly how their information will be used and for what purpose.

 

If you use Google analytics you will need to let them know what you use their information for (tracking user behavior, building advertising campaigns etc). If you are building an email list you will need to inform them exactly what you use their information for (marketing emails, free offers etc.). And the user will have to accept those terms of use before you can use the supplied information.

 

Where this can get a little tricky is if you operate an e-commerce store.

 

Let’s say someone from the EU or UK visits your store and adds items to their cart but doesn’t check out. They haven’t accepted your terms of service, privacy policy, or given you explicit permission to use their information… yet. So can you send them an email a week later saying “you forgot something”? Probably not. So those automated abandoned cart email campaigns, that are truly helpful, may become illegal.

 

 

How do you comply with the GDPR?

 

If you are one of the lucky ones you may be asking yourself how you are supposed to make sure you are covering your a$$ and complying with these new rules before May 25th.

Well here are the three main areas of your business you are going to want to look over and make sure they are up to date with the new regulations:

 

1. Terms & Conditions + Privacy Policy

 

The first thing you are going to need to look at is your terms of service and privacy policy. If you don’t already have these in place, now is the time to get those two items locked down and airtight.

Because of these new regulations, there is going to be specific wording you are going to have to include to make sure you are compliant.

 

2. EU Cookie Permissions Pop-up

 

Those of us using the Google analytics plugin or any plugin that uses cookies to track user behavior or collect information will need to make sure we provide every user from the EU a pop-up that informs them that we use cookies, what data is collected, and how it used. We also have to get the users agreement to those terms.

 

3. Get Clear Consent To Use Their Information

 

Giving our friends in the EU an opportunity to opt-in to us using their information is probably the biggest hurdle we will have to get over. This means having a separate unchecked checkbox on all our opt-in forms and checkout pages. We must give them the opportunity to either agree or disagree with how we will use their information.

This can be as simple as giving them a statement on all our forms that state:

You are opting in to receive marketing information on behalf of (your business name). Do you consent to the collection of your name and email for the communications?” and giving them a separate checkbox to agree or disagree.

 

 

What happens if you don’t comply

 

If you decide you don’t want to comply and you are one the ones that need to, let’s just say no good can come of it. Seriously, a lot of rather bad things can happen like…

 

A 20 Million Euro fine. Yes, that’s right the EU could come after you and your business and slap a massive fine on you. I don’t know about you but a fine that large just isn’t something my business can pay right now.

And before you start thinking that it will be impossible for them to know if you comply or not there will be EU Data Protection officers scouring the internet looking for people who aren’t complying. And because the GDPR is a regulation and not directive it is enforceable in every country.

 

 

Now for the good news…

 

I know if you have made it this far you are probably one of the lucky ones that need to seriously start looking at ways to comply with the GDPR. You may be sweating, your stress level may be at a level 10 on the Richter scale, and you may be about to freak out. Please don’t freak out, I already did that for you and I have some good news for you.

When I first started looking into the GDPR and realized I need to get my business ready, and a few of my clients, I started to devour every bit of information I could. I asked in forums, did Google search after Google search, and even turned to Pinterest to help me figure out what the heck I was going to do. To say I was in a frenzied state would be an understatement.

But I stumbled upon a webinar hosted by Christina Scalera who owns and operates The Contract Shop. Christina is a gem and also happened to be a lawyer who is familiar with the GDPR. In that webinar is where I learned the most about the GDPR, what it means for me and others, and how we can quickly comply without breaking the bank or pulling our hair out.

Let me introduce you to GDPReady and online e-course that I guarantee will help you cut through the legal-ish and quickly implement strategies to become GDPR complaint.

 

To just tell you what you’ll receive when you take this course and why it’s the absolute best solution I have found to date:

 

Updated GDPR Terms & Conditions ($255 value)

Updated GDPR Privacy Policy ($255 value)

GDPR Marketing Training- learn how to beat the GDPR at its own gain and stand out from the competition

GDPReady Implementation Checklist- everything you need to implement so you don’t miss a thing

GDPReady Training

GDPR Pop-up Walkthrough

EU Cookie Bar Decoded

GDPR Marketing Checklist

Email Templates For Consent

Data Storage Policy + Checklist

 

This course will give you not only the above but also the peace of mind to know that your business is covered and GDPReady.

If you don’t know where to begin? This course is for you.

If you don’t know what you need? This course is for you.

If you want to set it and forget it? This course is for you.

 

Christina and her team have taken great pains and spend 100’s of hours compiling an all in one resource to save you time, money, and most importantly your sanity. This e-course is hands down the most comprehensive and probably the best investment you can make for your business right now.

 

And guess what?!?!? Christina and her team are offering you a discount! Just use the code: MISTY when you checkout and you’ll get $10 off the GDPReady course.

 

If you are one of the lucky ones and need to comply with the GDPR regulations now is the time do it. Let me know if the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Want to know more about me and why I love helping creative businesses brand with confidence? Head yourself over to my about me page to find out.

Learn how I booked 4 new clients before launching with Brand Clarity.

10 Comments

  1. This is SO helpful. I am definitely feeling overwhelmed by all of these new requirements. Thanks so much for spelling everything out; it makes things much easier!

    Reply
    • If you need to comply I promise the GDPReady course is so helpful. I have already almost finished becoming compliant and the stress is just melting away.

      Reply
  2. Finally a post that explains GDPR for bloggers! I really needed this!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. I know there is a lot of information out there and I’m not an expert but what I have learned has helped me be better prepared.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for the crash course! I have been hearing rumblings but had not really looked into it yet for my blog.

    Reply
    • It’s one of those things that either confuse people or freaks them out… sometimes both at the same time. Even if you don’t have to comply now it’s a good idea to learn about it at least because chances are will be seeing similar regulations get passed all over the world, including the US.

      Reply
  4. This course looks awesome. Thank you for breaking it down so clearly.

    Reply
    • It’s amazing! I have already started taking it and I’m almost done with complying. Seriously an amazing investment if you need to do this.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for the advice! I’m freaking out a little.

    Reply
    • Don’t freak out. There is a lot of great information out there and of course GDPReady. I have already started the GDPReady course and I am almost done with my websites.

      Reply

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