We live in an age of big data but with big data comes big responsibilities and not using the right systems to manage it carries some potentially very serious consequences.
These relate to GDPR, a four-letter acronym that you may not be familiar with but definitely should be. It stands for the General Data Protection Regulation and was introduced in May 2018 replacing older data protection laws, and while it was drafted in Europe, regulators can fine organisations anywhere in the world which target or collect data in the EU.
The legislation governs the way organisations that operate within the EU can use, process and store consumers’ personal data. The principles that is sets out still apply to UK businesses even now that that the UK has left the EU as they were adopted in anew but almost identical iece of legislation, UK GDPR, which sits alongside the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation.
This places a requirement on businesses to evidence consent to hold data, be transparent about how data is being used, to hold it responsibly and securely and gives consumers rights to delete or request that that data is removed from a company’s database
Fines can run to the tens of millions, Google, H&M, and British Airways, are just some of the high-profile names that have fallen foul of the legislation.
What is consumer data?
Consumer data doesn’t only apply to big companies. If you use a database to store information about a prospect or customer, it counts and GDPR applies.
In addition to evidencing consent to collect data, under GDPR You have a responsibility as the data owner to protect it. The CRM system or sales tools that you’re using (where the data is held), need to feature safeguards to protect that data so it can’t be stolen or misused.
For example, holding data about customers e.g. names and addresses on an Excel spreadsheet would be a risk under GDPR because it isn’t secure. Names addresses are available to anyone with access to that document.
How do CRMs help?
Data management systems like Business Pilot put safeguards and controls in place to avoid this by putting ‘walls’ in place between different data streams, effectively scrambling the data so even if someone was to access part of it, they couldn’t access the rest of it to make it of any value.
The system puts those pieces of information back together, instantly, every time you want to access them safeguarding that data.
It’s time to act now!
In short, if you’re not on top of GDPR, you need to be. Safe and secure data management is absolutely critical to the running of your business. There have already been prosecutions in the window and door industry, with one case carrying a £150,000 penalty. Could your business carry that kind of hit?
Elton Boocock, Managing Director, Business Pilot
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