GDPR

What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or simply GDPR, is a legal framework adopted in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR came into force on May 25, 2018, and was designed in a way to give people in the EU/EEA more control over their personal data and make it more secure. It is worth noting that by people in the EU/EEA are meant not only citizens of the member states but also its residents. Hence, if you collect and process data of the aforementioned groups of individuals, the GDPR is applicable to you regardless of your place of business. In other words, your company can be headquartered in the US, China, Australia, or any other corner of the world, you should still comply with the laid down rules. Noncompliance with the regulations may result in hefty fines amounting up to the millions of euros.

What Are The GDPR’s Requirements?

GDPR is founded on the fundamental principles of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), namely the right of individuals for privacy. That is why the GDPR’s primary goal is to prevent the violation of data privacy by introducing strict security standards.

  • Encryption is the name of the game.
    If you collect personal data from the people in the EU/EEA, you are required to ensure that it is properly secured. To make sure that this is the case, the GDPR enforces businesses to comply with technical and organizational measures.
  • Technical measures.
    All collected data must be encrypted to minimize the probability of its unauthorized use. Encryption serves as a safeguard that data cannot be obtained by third parties, and hence any sensitive information about specific individuals cannot be revealed. 
  • Organizational measures.
    Organizational measures stipulate that staff who work with personal data should be properly trained and aware of the necessary course of action if data security is compromised.

In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, companies must also explicitly inform their online visitors about the data collection and ask for their permission for such actions. Usually, it is done through so-called “cookies” where online users are given a chance to accept or reject the terms of use. In email outreach, it is secured with opt-out options.

GDPR & B2B Email Marketing

The GDPR does not forbid email marketing, but it sets the number of requirements that companies should comply with. According to the regulations, you can process and reach out to your prospects if you meet at least one of the legal bases stipulated in Article 6. In business settings, the choice basically boils down to the two most common provisions:

  • the prospect’s consent (1 a.), or
  • the business’ legitimate interests (1 f.)

The first provision is self-explanatory and doesn’t require additional elaboration. Basically, as long as you have prospect’s consent, you are good to go. Legitimate interest, on the other hand, is a more broad term and can be applied to different situations. For instance, if you can justify that email outreach can potentially provide value to both you and the recipient, then you have a good claim to using legitimate interest as a legal base for your email outreach. Keep in mind though that for you to fully comply with the GDPR, it is essential that the recipients of your emails are always given explicit option to unsubscribe. 

CIENCE & GDPR

CIENCE practices outbound marketing across continents and diligently follows local regulations. The GDPR is not an exception. First of all, CIENCE is reaching out to business prospects who can benefit from the services we offer. Secondly, the prospects always have the option to opt-out if they deem it necessary. Should it be the case, CIENCE will honor their decision. 

It is also worth noting that the processed data have a limited impact on the individual’s privacy and are collected primarily from publicly available sources (e.g. LinkedIn). Furthermore, CIENCE adheres to technical and organizational measures. We allocate a great deal of time and other resources to make sure that our staff does all they can to avoid data breach or its loss.

Conclusion

Violation of online privacy is one of the major concerns for most governing bodies. That is why the EU decided to address this issue with new, stricter, regulations that would equip its people with more rights in data privacy. This gave birth to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR sets the ground rules where individuals’ data privacy and security are a centerpiece of any online interaction. According to the regulations, companies that plan to process the data must make sure that they have the right to do so and if so, they should take all necessary measures to protect the data against unauthorized use or incidental loss.

Data security is accomplished through required technical (e.g. encryption) and organizational (staff training) measures.