Get clued-up on the new data protection laws

You must have heard about it by now; the changes to the data protection legislation that'll give people the right to know what data companies hold about them?

A little background

By 'data', we mean things such as home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and so on. It's that useful information we all store to stay in touch with our customers.

The changes are known as 'GDPR' (General Data Protection Regulation) and they come into force on the 25 May 2018. GDPR will affect businesses everywhere (including yours and ours too) and it means companies can no longer use a customer's details for whatever they fancy.

What you need to do

From 25 May 2018, your customers will have more control over the data you have about them. To be compliant with these new regulations, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Letting them know that they can ask to view their data at any time
  • Being clear with your customers when you take their details about why you need it
  • Protecting yourself from data breaches by setting up security measures, like encryption
  • Deleting any unused customer contact details and information, and checking what you do keep is up to date

To cover yourself, it's a good idea to check with your existing customers that they're still happy for you to email them after the new laws take effect.

We know it's all a bit tricky, so we've created a simple template that you can use to send to your current customers to ask their permission to stay in touch by email after 25 May*.

Suggested wording

Hello <Insert name>

From 25th May there are some changes to the data protection law and we need you to confirm you're still happy for us to email you.

We'd still like to contact you when your annual service is due and also let you know about our news and exclusive offers so please reply to this email saying that you're happy for us to continue contacting you.

You can ask to be removed from our database at any time.

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind Regards,

<Insert name>

*Please note: this is only relevant if you have an area on your website where customers can login and check/amend their personal details.

So there you have it; GDPR and the changes to data protection in a nutshell. To find out more visit the ICO website.

Important note:

This article is not legal advice and is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter - please consult the GDPR website for full details or seek out specialist legal advice for your specific circumstances.