The evolution of Data Protection
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force in May 2018, is the biggest reform in data protection law in the last 20 years. Being billed as an evolution of data protection law, rather than a revolution, it gives the consumer control over their data, enhancing their rights and imposing stricter obligations on the companies handing their data.
The technological and scientific advancements of the last 20 years have been exponential and the GDPR is matching this evolution. Data services and solutions need to evolve alongside this; providing solutions that are not intrusive but relevant and specific to the needs of the individual. Data is now the lifeblood of businesses in the digital economy and the companies that achieve compliance will accelerate through this transition and achieve a distinct and important competitive advantage.
Tougher regulation will drive greater awareness amongst individuals of how their personal data is used and the rights they have for it to be protected. For brands to release real value from data, they must build greater trust with their customers by being responsible operators in the digital economy.
As businesses look to extract increasing value from data, the interrelationship between why, when and where individuals provide their data, how that data is subsequently used, and the health of the infrastructure that it flows across, now means that ‘data’ is a multifaceted brand and reputational risk — one which would have been difficult to comprehend when the digital economy was first envisaged. It is absolutely critical to demonstrate that you are ‘doing the right thing’ in the data space.
What are the first steps to compliance?
Robust governance and raising awareness of good data handling practices should be an early priority -embedding a single minimum data protection governance framework in to your people, processes and technology. Whilst this can be challenging, good governance, simplification and standardisation in the data space will release commercial opportunities and wider benefits for businesses.
It is important to have a culture where people recognise the positives of data compliance and the value it can deliver.
At Dentsu Aegis Network, we’re also on the GDPR journey. Wherever we operate, irrespective of market or brand, our clients will be able to take comfort knowing that we have a dedicated point person who has the responsibility and oversight to promote the correct behaviours across our people, processes and technology as we monetise their data.