GDPR: Your Tool Kit for Compliance

GDPR: Your Tool Kit for Compliance

20 Dec 2022

Amal Johny

Business Analyst

It is a given that anything digital is data intensive. When it comes to digital commerce, data even becomes intrinsic and pivotal. That said, data by its nature is sensitive and its breach causes concern. Trouble started in Europe when large numbers of customers started voicing their resentment and concern about spam campaigns to which they have never subscribed. Wary of this concern and to safeguard against it, the European Union (EU) updated and unified its data privacy laws and got it approved by the European Parliament in 2016.

The aim was to enable appropriate data protection for EU citizens and endow them with greater clarity to realize the reasons behind sharing their personal information. GDPR also gives EU individuals the right to choose how the shared information, including, medical history, financial records and internet activity, will be used in order to protect their privacy. GDPR in the EU has also paved the way for similar data protection rules in other regions like the US, Thailand, Brazil, and South Korea. Hence, for eCommerce players catering to EU customers, GDPR will determine the ways and means of engaging with customer information, tools to be used, and also the course of action while using them.

Impact of GDPR in eCommerce

eCommerce businesses depend greatly on data collection and analysis. Moreover, online marketing is intrinsic for their operations and not accessing user information can significantly affect their business outcomes. Interestingly, ever since its implementation, GDPR has made striking changes to how ecommerce businesses manage stores and handle the collected data. The practice of operating with a lot of information is now a passé. Accessing only the vital info crucial for communication, fundamental marketing needs, and transactions is the new normal.

Against this backdrop, GDPR compliance might sound like a damper. But reality belies this apprehension. Records reveal that the new law has not only cleared the cloud regarding the apprehensions of losing revenue but has also helped customers strengthen their trust with authentic organizations who did business without misusing the shared data. For ecommerce businesses still wrapping their heads around GDPR this article will elucidate the law in simple terms while highlighting the major checklists for being GDPR compliant.

Read on!

Efficacy of GDPR

To begin with, let’s not delude ourselves! GDPR-compliance is a tough grind! But it’s obligatory hence cannot be ignored. Notably, a European Commission report says, in the very first year of implementing GDPR, nearly 145,000 cases of queries and complaints were registered while approximately 90,000 data breaches were also notified. (1) Some of the remarkable impacts of GDPR implementation include putting a stop on customer data selling and mishandling. (2) While earlier companies could find ways to evade huge fines, regulators now sanction data breaches irrespective of whether they are deliberate or inadvertent.

Interestingly, following findings of a Cisco’s 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study reveals the efficacy of GDPR in controlling data breach –

  • More companies are complying with the GDPR regulations, thereby reducing the number of breaches and the imposed fine.
  • 26 % of GDPR-compliant companies did not suffer breaches, while from the rest, 20% companies set to be compliant in the next 12 months and 11 % who will take more than 12 months to be compliant did not suffer breaches. (Ref 4)
Importance of GDPR compliance

The following points will help you form a firsthand understanding of what GDPR compliance means –

  • GDPR gives customers the choice to share or reject access to personal info. While browsing the website and mobile app your customers will know what data you are collecting and how the data will be used. The customers must also feel convinced that the information is absolutely necessary for the business they want to do with you.
  • The customers should have the option to request for a modification or deletion of the shared data. They should also have easy access to the information regarding user rights. They can also ask for specific details about your organization and data processing cycle when asked for personal data. These include the company’s contact details, the identity proof and contact details of DPO, and location of data processing. (Ref 5)

GDPR generally attempts to protect all type of personal data including-

  • Personal Information like name, email, contact number, address
  • Genetic and health conditions including any type of biometric data
  • Website data like IP address, cookies, etc
  • Sexual orientation, political and religious views, race/ethnicity

Let’s agree that complete GDPR compliance will not be a cake walk. As an eCommerce business you will need to be totally transparent with your methods and be clear about your GDPR compliance to be compliant.

Role of eCommerce solution provider to rightly implement GDPR

Given the contributions that eCommerce makes in the economy, almost all developed countries in the world are extremely keen to actually build a more robust digital economy. In doing so they also agree that access to some data is integral to run an eCommerce business. All that GDPR demands from businesses is honesty and transparency and implementation of the best practices. If that is rightly done, your business will never have to pay the hefty penalties that come with GDPR. Moreover, if the regulator is convinced that you have done your best to comply with the law they too would work patiently with you if and when a problem arises. This is where the role of an expert eCommerce solution provider comes in. As an eCommerce player, think of engaging an eCommerce solution provider to help you rightly implement GDPR compliant solutions.


Schedule a call with
an expert

Request a Demo