You may be aware of the recent introduction of a new EU regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation is set to bring about changes in how websites manage their users’ privacy.
If you’re wondering whether this might have an impact on your website, given that you, your company, and its clientele are based in the U.S., it certainly could. This regulation applies to any website utilizing features like Google Analytics, contact forms, or any form of sign-up option. In fact, it encompasses approximately 99.5% of all websites currently online!
What Is GDPR?
GDPR encompasses any data that can be used to identify a visitor. This includes, but is not limited to, information such as name, email address, gender, race, age, physical address, phone number, IP address, and birth date.
It mandates explicit consent. If you have the opt-in box pre-checked for your visitors, this setting needs to be reversed, so it is unmarked by default.
Parental consent is required for processing any personal data of children under the age of 16. The specific age requirement may vary by EU member state, but it cannot be below the age of 13. It grants visitors the right to know what information is being retained about them and the purpose behind its storage.
Visitors have the right to request the removal of their information at any time.
In the event of any unauthorized access, loss, or theft of data, authorities must be notified within 72 hours of the breach being discovered, along with every individual whose data was compromised.
Any new site must prioritize privacy. Data requests should be strictly controlled and only provided when necessary. Data can only be used for the purpose it was originally obtained for, and it must be securely deleted when no longer needed.
A visitor can request their information, transfer it, or have it deleted at any time.
It also empowers national authorities to impose fines on companies that violate the regulation.
Why is GDPR compliance important?
GDPR is designed to safeguard the interests of both site visitors and site owners. It ensures that all information is obtained with clear consent and used in the intended manner. While it is currently a European law, there has been speculation that it may eventually become a U.S. law.
Some might consider blocking EU IP addresses to prevent access to their site, but this isn’t recommended. Many individuals use VPNs for enhanced internet security, potentially allowing an EU individual to access your site using a U.S.-based IP address.
How to Ensure Your Site is GDPR Compliant
The most effective (and straightforward) approach is to make your site GDPR-friendly. Leadshouse can assist you with this!
Leadshouse can also conduct an audit of your site to assess the type of information it collects. Additionally, we can help implement and configure the necessary plugins to enable site visitors to view and, if they choose, delete the information you have stored about them.