Have you heard about the GDPR Regulations that take effect THIS WEEK? Probably not – because it isn’t a direct concern of ours here in Australia… YET! (Or is it…?)
Ok, let’s cut to the chase. What is GDPR and why should I care about it?
Glad you asked!
The simplified meaning is this:
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information on websites. It is about to become effective within the EU – but you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll find its way to the Aussie shores sooner or later – and it may even affect your business right now!
So what will this mean for me and my website?
Glad you asked again!
Cutting through the 88 page regulation documentation, we’ve found that it means that you need to ensure you are giving people the option whether or not they give you permission to track their activity on your site. Currently, we can do this without a users permission. We do this through various tracking codes and things like ‘cookies’. The DGPR specifies that a person must be aware that they are being tracked – and give consent to this happening.
How do we know if they give us consent?
Well – the short answer is, we ask them! It could be a simple matter of a tick-box type set up that tells your website – yes – it’s ok to collect some data, or no – stop collecting for this user. We then tell your website what to do accordingly.
If they choose not to consent – then we need to make sure that their experience on the website is not hindered in any way.
But we’re in Australia – not the European Union – so why should I care?
There are many Australian businesses who will need to start complying with the GDPR – despite the fact that we’re miles away. Any Australian business of ANY size may need to comply with the GDPR if they have an establishment in the European Union, or if the offer goods / services in the EU, or if they monitor the behaviours of individuals in the EU.
This could potentially be anyone with a website.
For more information – we’ve found this really handy guide that breaks down the GDPR into layman’s terms: https://www.oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/business-resources/privacy-business-resource-21-australian-businesses-and-the-eu-general-data-protection-regulation
So – that’s a bit of a run-down on the GDPR situation. It’s not for us to get worked up about just yet – but is certainly something to keep an eye on. The EU will be issuing hefty fines for websites breaching these regulations!