What Startups Should Know About GDPR

Almost every aspect of our lives revolves around data. From social media to government services, these collect and store personal information. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect last May 25th, 2018, allows European citizens more control over these data. While this may be good news for individuals, this could also mean huge fines for those businesses that do not comply with the laws. 

The GDPR is one of the most far-reaching data privacy laws. This is why all businesses must be GDPR-compliant—even if your business is small or based overseas, as long as you’re handling data that belongs to individuals living and working within Europe, this will still leave you liable.

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Before making any decisions, you should understand the type of data your business is handling. Here are a few tips to keep your business compliant:

  1. Document the personal data you are holding. Understand if the data you’re collecting is considered sensitive. Learn your data sources, where and how it will be stored, and how it will be used.

  2. If you don’t have one yet, you need to incorporate data privacy policies in your business. Develop a clear and specific consent policy for your customers. Look in to other companies you know that deal with a lot of data, they probably have a plan in place that you could use.

  3. Inform your customers how you will use their data, as well as how your company will hold their data and for how long. Since the GDPR stipulates that customers have the control over their data, they will have the right to access this, to correct any inaccuracy, or even delete any data that your company holds.

Although the compliance may be a bit too much for small-business owners with less resources, no one likes having their information stolen or misused without proper consent. Let your customers know what you are doing to protect their data. The GDPR presents an opportunity for you to get ahead of the game. Doing everything that you can to protect your customers could grow their trust and add value to your business. 

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