Since 2012, various committees and organizations within the European Union have been deliberating and voting on how to best standardize their data protection policies for all members of the EU. In recent weeks, it seems that both the European Parliament and the European Council are close to finally agreeing on a single data protection policy they expect to release publicly before the end of this year. This new policy, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GRP) aims to give EU citizens more control over their privacy and put more responsibility in the hands of organizations to ensure they are not abusing their customers’ data and consent.
While the final draft of the new regulation is yet to be seen, it will cover such user privacy items like:
In addition, businesses that use automated user profiling, or sell data to third parties for marketing purposes, will have to notify their customers that their information will be used in this manner. The intent of this new legislative change is to create more transparency between data collectors and their customers. Under these new legislative changes, the EU will reserve the right to prosecute offenders whether or not they are part of the EU.
The final draft of the GDPR is expected to be made public in December, but an early 2016 release is also likely. It is expected that the GDRP will not come into effect until 2018, which should give marketers plenty of time to understand how the new regulations may impact their business. It is likely that the GDRP will echo the recent legislative changes that have come into effect in countries like Canada (CASL) and Australia (ACMA). With these dates approaching, it is never too early to begin tightening your data collection practices and gaining a better understanding of what data organizations have at their disposal.
Below are 28 countries currently in the EU, and this list may grow by the time this new regulation comes into effect. If these are countries that you have customers in or doing business in, it would be a good idea to start auditing your data and putting plans together about the marketing processes you may have to change come 2016.