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Ultimate Guide on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Recent concerns about consumer data privacy and protection have led to the implementation of new, strict regulations across all commercial sectors. This is especially true for sectors that manage international business. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of many new resolutions intended to protect consumers by requiring new data protection policies by advertisers and businesses.

If you’re not sure what the GDPR means for your brand or business, read on. We’ll break down everything you need to know about this set of regulatory guidelines in detail.

What Is the GDPR?

The GDPR is a law adopted by the European Parliament in April 2016 that officially came into effect on May 25, 2018. 

In a nutshell, the GDPR outlines several objectives, definitions, and fundamental principles associated with consumer data protection and privacy rights. These include penalties for corporations and advertisers that refuse to abide by those principles.

More simply, the GDPR is a set of rules and regulations that advertisers and businesses must adhere to if they want to collect and use consumer data in the EU. The GDPR doesn't apply to brands that collect data elsewhere. However, since many online businesses collect data internationally, it has had wide-reaching ramifications throughout the worldwide economy.

The goal of the GDPR is to protect the data rights and freedoms of individuals. This requires corporations and marketers to adopt new strategies and methodologies.

More specifically, the GDPR is a data protection directive that protects European Union citizens and member states from personal data breaches and other data security issues through non-compliance or data erasure.

What Are the 7 Principles of the GDPR?

The GDPR data protection law is primarily organized around seven fundamental founding principles to protect people in EU member states and beyond. These are:

  • Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency regarding data controllers, data collection, and the processing of personal data
  • Purpose limitation, meaning that all personal data must be collected for specific and legitimate purposes, like increasing your marketing ROI
  • Data minimization, meaning that data controllers should only collect adequate, relevant, and limited data depending on what’s needed for their purposes, including data from sites, apps, and elsewhere
  • Accuracy, meaning that data controllers must take certain reasonable steps to ensure the personal data they store is accurate and kept up-to-date where possible. This extends to biometric data
  • Storage limitation, which requires data controllers to only store personal data for as long as is necessary for their initial purposes (although data can be stored for longer in limited situations, such as for scientific or historical purposes)
  • Integrity and confidentiality, meaning data controllers have to use the appropriate organizational and technical means to ensure data is given adequate security during processing and storage. This can include running regular audits with service providers, giving citizens breach notifications, and informing public authorities that safeguards have been breached
  • Accountability, which means data controllers are held responsible for demonstrating compliance with the principles above. This gives decision-making individuals a lot of responsibility, including responsibility for GDPR fines and adhering to all GDPR requirements

Many of these principles have been copied or adapted by similar data privacy laws outside of Europe, like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Why Was the GDPR Passed?

The GDPR’s security measures were passed primarily because of increasing concerns regarding consumer data protection and information security.

News of major personal data leaks from big brands caused many consumers to become worried about what would happen to their data if they gave it to companies without adequate digital defenses. Furthermore, many consumers have gradually become more concerned about how organizations collect, store, and use their data. 

The GDPR was passed to alleviate these concerns and outline a set of ethical and legal protection measures for corporations to follow regarding the collection and usage of sensitive data, such as birthdays, IP addresses, email addresses, and browsing habits.

Who Does the GDPR Apply To?

The GDPR rules apply to any corporation or marketing agency, ranging from individuals to large businesses, that collect, store, or use data from EU citizens. 

“Data” in this sense means:

  • Any personal data that is either wholly or partially processed by automated means OR any personal data processed by non-automated means
  • Any data processed by a data controller data processor already established in the EU (i.e., a company that collects data, a marketing agency that analyzes consumer traffic, etc.)

Basically, if you collect data for the purposes of doing business in the EU or with EU citizens, the GDPR applies to you and your team. So,  it’s important to understand the GDPR in-depth.

What Are the Most Important Concepts for Marketers and Media Viewers?

As a marketer, marketing firm, or business owner, there are a few key concepts in the GDPR that you need to grasp fully.

Data Protection Methodologies and Philosophies

Article 25 of the GDPR means data controllers must implement data protection methodologies from the outset of a project. This ensures that data protection principles are embedded into activities immediately. 

In other words, your brand must collect data safely right from the start, as well as implement data protection methods immediately, not after you've already collected a significant amount of customer or consumer data.

Data Protection Impact Assessments

All data controllers must conduct DIPA or Data Protection Impact Assessments before conducting any data processing activities that:

  • Leverage any new technologies
  • Systematically monitor publicly accessible areas on large scales
  • May result in high risks to the freedoms and rights of natural persons
  • Make decisions that are related to automated data processing, like profiling
  • Process large quantities of data related to criminal offenses or other special category data

Designate a Data Protection Officer

Furthermore, all data processors and controllers must designate at least one DPO or Data Protection Officer. 

The DPO has a variety of activities, including:

  • Assigning data protection responsibilities
  • Informing and/or advising data controllers or processors about GDPR-related obligations
  • Monitoring GDPR compliance
  • Training data processing staff adequately to ensure they understand GDPR compliance methodologies
  • Giving advice alongside DPIAs
  • Ensuring cooperation with any GDPR-appointed supervisory authority

This individual is effectively outside the control of the company in question. Data processors and controllers can’t instruct the DPO, nor can they penalize or dismiss the DPO for performing their tasks as directed.

Only Collect Lawful Data

Perhaps most importantly, the GDPR outlines several legal bases for processing personal data. For an organization to legally collect or process personal data, the data has to qualify along at least one of the below bases:

  • It was in compliance with a legal obligation
  • The data subject, like a consumer, gave consent for the data processing
  • The processing is needed for the performance of a business contract
  • There’s a legitimate interest in the data
  • The data is needed to protect the vital interests of the data subject
  • The data is needed to perform a task that is carried out in the public interest

Keep Records of All Processing Activities

Article 30 of the GDPR states that data controllers must keep ongoing records of all data processing activities. The records have to be kept in an electronic format, not just hard copies, and have to include the information outlined in Article 30(1) of the GDPR.

Contact AdQuick Today

It’s important for advertisers of all stripes to keep abreast of the GDPR and its regulations, especially if they collect data on EU citizens. The above breakdown includes all the key points of the GDPR, but be sure to read through the official documentation for yourself so you can guarantee 100% compliance.

But it’s also crucial to use the data you collect effectively, particularly for OOH or out-of-home advertising. With AdQuick, you can analyze, buy, and measure the effectiveness of billboard advertisements in your target area in no time. Check out our solution today.



General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) | Tech Target

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Definition and Meaning | Investopedia

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