I’m Already Sick of GDPR!

29 May 2018

There, I’ve said it, I’m sick about hearing about GDPR! It has become a major preoccupation for us here at OpenCRM for the past few months and even more so now it is a real “thing”, buzzing round the heads of all our clients and prospects too. The thing is – a lot of it just seems like common sense to me. Make sure you have got good data. Make sure you are not overstepping private boundaries. Make sure you’re using the data in the way that you are permitted to. So why do we need this?

The digital world is an modern phenomenon. Other similarly disruptive periods in history might be the Wild West, or the invention of the motor car. The Wild West was essentially a place of lawlessness, where people lived and died by codes of honour and gradually by legislation that came into force to protect properties, money, laws around guns and so on. When the first few cars were on the roads, there was no need to build legislation around them, but as they became more and more popular, guidelines needed to be established for example agreeing which side of the road to drive on, or bringing in legislation around seat belts and headlights.

The online world is like a high-speed version of the wild west or the car industry. It makes massive leaps from one day to the next so legislation is only ever going to be playing catch up and this time around, personal data is the key word. Not only is there a lack of global legislation but there really hasn’t a code of conduct for people to adhere to – up until now. People talk about netiquette but none of this is set in stone and so is completely open to individual interpretation. One thing the web seemingly allows you to do is to get away with it. That’s one reason why online bullying is such a problem. It has never been easier to be malicious and manage to isolate yourself from the consequences.

So I guess, GDPR is giving individuals the chance to go ex-directory but with the added level of picking and choosing how they want to be kept up-to-date. Personally I’ve enjoyed seeing the consent requests coming into my own in-box – it’s given me a chance to give my email account a decent spring-clean. By not responding to some (or in fact most) requests, I’m clearing out dead wood and making sure I get a lot less marketing mails. But for those I want to stay in touch with, I’ve been able to fine-tune my accounts and ensure that I’m getting targeted information that is actually useful to me.

So yes, I’m fed up of hearing about and talking about GDPR, but looking forward to when it becomes embedded in the way individuals and businesses conduct themselves online. And if you are still not sick of it, why not look up some of the online resources we have available on the subject.