The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Why You Should Care

By now you've probably heard about The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and rightly so, as these new regulations went into effect today.

There have been a lot of questions on what these regulations are, how they directly affect U.S. sites, and how you can comply. Simply put, GDPR is a new set of rules that were created to give EU citizens control over their personal data and how it is being used when they surf the web.

Almost every aspect of modern-day internet browsing revolves around data. Social media platforms, retailers, and countless other businesses collect and use our personal data (e.g. location, age, name, etc.) to help better provide their services, market products and analyze and understand how users browse/use their website. While all of this ultimately helps users better use the web, this information is being stored by these organizations.

Under the new regulations, businesses need to ensure that this personal data is being gathered legally and that the person/s who are collecting it are actively protecting it from misuse.

How the regulations apply to you

You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t market to citizens of the EU, nor do I believe I have many, if any, visitors from the EU. While this may be true, if you have a website, these regulations likely still apply.

If you have a contact (or other) web form on your site or if you have Google Analytics on your site, the regulations apply to you. Nowadays that is the majority of websites.

For most small businesses there are a couple of small updates that should be completed to comply.

What to do

  1.  Set up a Privacy Policy page and add a link in the footer, so it is visible on all pages of your site.
    • Outline what data you collect and how you use it. (e.g. Analytics data, third-party tracking, etc.)
    • Address how you plan to keep this data secure.
    • Outline how users are able to contact you to opt-out or ask questions about their data.
  2. Have a plan for the security of your site. 
    • Keep your website up-to-date by completing plug-in, core and theme updates when they become available, or shortly after.
    • If you have employees that have access to this data, make sure there is a protocol for how this information is used and/or shared.

How Swoon can help

Setting up a Privacy Policy doesn’t need to be hard work. Swoon can create and add your policy to your site.

Swoon also offers a Website Maintenance Plans that keep your site in compliance with the security regulations by keeping your site up-to-date on a regular basis and secure. Under these plans, you also receive monthly website status reports so you can stay up-to-date and understand the health of your site.

If you are interested in help with any of these tasks please contact Swoon.