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Beyond avoiding fines, GDPR compliance also boosts marketing

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Beginning in May, the EU gave regulatory agencies greater powers to act against non GDPR-compliant organizations. Penalties include stiff fines of up to four percent of annual global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is greater.

Implementing a plan for GDPR compliance can prove to be complex. The first step to GDPR compliance involves understanding the law. In general, the new regulations affect three main areas: Personal privacy, security and transparency, and IT and training.

How can technology providers help organizations accelerate their response to the legislation and become GDPR compliant?
Data management and discovery: The initial step is to discover personal data across your organization and protect it from unauthorized access. This includes regularly indexing and flagging sensitive data.

Access governance: By managing user identity and access to sensitive data, organizations can more easily protect privileged activities and enforce data breach detection and notification.

Test data management and synthetic data generation: Test data management (TDM) is the process of providing, distributing, and managing test data for development teams. By using synthetic data, organizations will avoid the privacy pitfalls associated with masking production data.

API management: API management is the foundation for a future-proof GDPR-compliant architecture. It enables organizations to quickly and easily adopt rules for gathering consent and informing users about data policies.

The GDPR regulations apply to all companies that process personal data of European residents. This includes companies with fewer than 250 employees where data processing impacts the rights of data subjects or includes certain types of sensitive personal data. In effect, the regulations apply to nearly all companies.

Violations of basic principles of the GDPR can result in fines that could prove devastating, particularly to a small business. There are two tiers of non-compliance:

Lower Tier. These infractions generally involve failing to adequately integrate data protection by design into business operations. Fines can be imposed of up to 10 million euros or two percent of the organization’s annual global revenue, whichever is greater.

Higher Tier. These involve more serious infringements on an individual’s privacy rights and freedoms. Fines in this category can reach as high as 20 million euros or four percent of annual global revenue.

In addition to fines, other penalties can prove incredibly harmful to your business. Violators may suffer a withdrawal of certification or a ban on processing personal data. Damage control can be costly to both the wallet and the reputation.

If the risks of non-compliance fail to provide motivation enough, consider the benefits of complying with GDPR regulations. For instance, with the findings of an audit, you will eliminate redundant, obsolete and trivial files. In addition, the transparency and responsibility you demonstrate will help you build more trusting relationships with your customers and the public.

GDPR compliance also allows you to increase marketing return on investment. Once you implement an opt-in policy and have a data subject’s consent to process their personal data, you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your digital advertising. You can tailor your message to the specific needs and habits of a clearly defined audience that has more interest in your brand.

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