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Has “digital governance” a meaning anymore? Part 4 / GDPR to start governing sales and marketing data

New legislation is now coming into place to address another part of companies’ data and where challenges are high.

Back office has done a large part of its evolution but front office is still lacking despite the vast number of systems and applications deployed.

This is why European Parliament voted on April 14th 2016 a new and important piece of legislation. France was influential in passing this law but most members including the UK were in its favour, so it will apply there too. It is named GDPR and will apply as is to your organisation on May 25th 2018.

A regulation does not require adaptation in national law, so there will be no time lost nor variations enabled. If the European Parliament granted two years to meet compliance, this is because it is a highly complex and lengthy project.

There was more than one reason to embark on a complete refresh of the current legislation, which is a lengthy multi year cycle.

  • National legislation had aged (France‘s dated back to 1978 and 2004) i.e. not responding anymore to available technologies nor to daily usage either from companies’ sites or end users themselves.
  • Across Europe, national legislations were similarly out-dated for the same core reasons, i.e legislation time cycles are slower than technology cycles.
  • The former European legislation dated back to 1995, …. in the other century…
  • Each of the European countries had developed their own flavour of legislation creating enormous operational difficulties for companies operating across the continent. Personal data processes were subject to bi or multilateral conventions and the variations between legislations made operations complex with a lot of legal hazard.
  • European Companies, partly because of this are suffering from an important lag versus large US tech companies (GAFA and similar). Not creating a single European space might compromise forever their ability to compete in the quest for economic value thanks to data usage.

 

This regulation wants to improve the trust of Internet users whose data is collected. A fact is that it is estimated that approximately 1/3 of data in marketing databases are filled voluntarily erroneously by the Internet users. Each one of you is fed up of receiving repeatedly unsolicited marketing messages in your mail boxes, to be aggressively sold to for products based on your former Web navigations or to have to fill in extensive forms just to buy an occasional five euro item.

However there is no simple answer and this is ambiguous as it is the Internet users themselves who leave their details by using the suggested services. The Internet users need to have a better understanding of what will be done with their data.

The drive towards trust is a core element of moving from a race to data quantity to a process encouraging data quality.

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This article was written on 12 Oct 2017, and is filled under Point of View.

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