As most business owners are now aware, new EU legislation over data protection is changing. The General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on 25th May 2018. The legislation aims to protect user data and the way it is utilised by organisations. Originally proposed in 2012, the new legislation affects the way your business uses other people’s data, and whether or not you have permission to do so.

Even with Brexit on the horizon, all UK organisations who offer services to EU data subjects must abide by new GDPR regulations, so you’re not off the hook. This swathe of changes could mean hefty penalties if your business doesn’t abide by them. You could be penalised for using someone’s email address, medical information or IP address, amongst others if used without permission. So how do you prepare? What does this mean for your local business?

Under GDPR, companies and organisations will have to be much more transparent about how data is used and why. When filling in online forms or subscribing to mailing lists, it has to be spelt out to the consumer what their data is going to be used for and why.

It is vital that small businesses can build a network of users and their information, in order to build marketing and brand awareness, but under the new legislation, it is equally vital that companies do this in a clear way to avoid penalties. GDPR is a great opportunity for users to take back some control of their information, and to better understand how it is being collected and used.

For more information on GPDR, visit the EU GDPR website, your go-to point of information on all things GDPR. They have a FAQs section and a summary guide to the changes, to get you clued up on all the changes to your data usage.

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