The world of modern marketing revolves around the personal data of customers. The websites we visit, calls we make, places we visit and even the photos we take all leave a digital footprint.
These digital footprints are collated and measured by marketers in order for them to modify their campaigns accordingly. Personal data, it seems, is now the most valuable resource.
This information helps influence the way companies interact with their customers, and positively influences the customer experience.
With such an importance now resting on personal data, it is quickly becoming more and more vulnerable to theft. Another pressing matter amongst customers regarding their personal data is misuse by major companies. Customers are demanding to know how companies store their data and how they are using it.
There is a distrust amongst customers and companies, with studies showing 92% of online customers claiming data security is a serious concern. With data becoming more and more powerful, how can customers trust brands to use their personal data responsibly?
In 2018, the EU is introducing GDPR to properly safeguard personal data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be introduced on the 25th May and will standardise a wide range of privacy legislations across Europe into one set of regulations aimed at protecting users.
From next year companies will have to include privacy settings in all their digital products and websites, and have them switched on as default. Companies will also need to strengthen the way they seek permission to use data and bring some clarity to data breaches.
This regulation will be legally binding, meaning companies will not have the option to opt out, like they have been able to with the current regulations.
This huge change to data protection reflects the dramatic shift in the way the EU wants personal data to be managed. By putting individuals first, customers will be protected and empowered rather than exploited and ignored.
The current EU data privacy regulations were devised in 1980 (updated in 1995) and don’t take social media, smartphones or advanced web technology into account.
Whilst there are hurdles for companies to adapt to the new legislation, companies will see an increase in data quality by losing a lot of data acquired through the one size fits all style of blanket marketing undertaken in the past.
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