The GDPR pandemic swept across the world in the weeks leading up to May 25th and invaded our inboxes with subject lines urging us to opt into email lists. Lists we were only too happy to be on in the first place and the opt-in emails probably got more people’s backs up than if they companies had carried on sending emails as normal.

Other communications boasted privacy policy updates. These got a big tick in our book, because up to date privacy polies are exactly what was called for by the GDPR guidance.

Now the 25th May has been and gone, and the apocalypse didn’t happen. We can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.
Or can we? Not so. GDPR-compliance is an ongoing topic for all companies. But you can take some time to catch up on what’s been happening in the rest of the world if you’ve spent the last few months buried under your information audits.

Facebook, Google and GDPR

Facebook has had to do an enormous amount of work to get on the GDPR train, and recent revelations over its platform tools being manipulated to gain access to user profile data for political campaigns couldn’t have come at a worse time.

In order to make sure that you are compliant with Facebook’s new terms of use for Business Tools, it’s as well to spend some time with this article for a high level overview of the latest changes.

Meanwhile Google has been accused of making its own terms of use even stricter beyond the measures set out by the new data regulation. The company is covering itself by deleting accounts that break these terms of use (such as storing personal information that could identify a user) and has amended its data retention policy, which means that you may not see certain reports beyond 14 months unless you change the default settings.

Of course, despite their best efforts, Google and Facebook have already been at the receiving end of complaints regarding their GDPR compliance.

For a digestible summary of what all the main tech giants have been doing to prepare for GDPR, take a look at this article by Wired.

Other approaches to GDPR

Some US companies, including news outlets, have decided to take the ultra-cautious action of unplugging their sites in the EU, meaning that if you live in an EU country, you cannot view or access their websites. It may not be the smartest move as it is an avoidance tactic rather than dealing with the real issues that GDPR wants companies to get behind.

The point these companies have missed has been expertly articulated by Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institution. He argues that by complying with the new regulations and finding improved ways of working within these parameters, thus taking better care of our customer data, we become better at knowing what matters to our customers.

“When consumers happily, willingly, and trustingly give you data, it is a more meaningful and valuable asset for your business. Delivery of relevant interactive content early and often in their experience is a key piece of the evolving learning process of a broader content strategy.”

Robert Rose