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What does the GDPR mean for me as a consumer?

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation change within the EU, but most of it’s been from the perspective of businesses and business owners. The changes have much to do with marketing and how data is handled, and consent is given, and while this is important for businesses who use data to promote their products and services, it’s also important to cover things from the viewpoint of us normal folk!

That’s what we’ll be doing here today. A quick rundown to give you the must-knows on the changes, and what they mean for you.

GDPR Data Protection

The when

May 25th is when the GDPR changes will come into effect. As you might imagine, many businesses are scrambling to change up their practices at the last minute!

While the UK’s future within the EU is likely to change due to Brexit, the UK is still expected to comply with GDPR going forward. This is because the UK will still trade with the EU and must abide by its laws just as if it were still a member of the Union going forward.

The what

So that is it? Basically, the GDPR is legislation that is designed to give consumers more protection and control over our data and how it is used. Companies won’t have the right to gather and use personal data for certain marketing purposes without first obtaining consent from the user once GDPR is in effect; something we can all agree is a positive thing.

This means they’ll have to be clearer about the use of website cookies and data forms, and ‘spam’ practices like unsolicited marketing through phone calls may be punishable by some serious fines (either up to £17 million or 4% of the annual turnover of the company in question).

Data security

In addition to being about data rights and protection, GDPR is going to shake up the requirements for data security (think cybersecurity). You may have seen in the headlines now and then that companies regularly have data stolen by cybercriminals; this is a massive problem for modern business and it’s a threat that continues to grow with every passing day.

The GDPR reinforces the rules around this so that if a business is breached and your data is stolen, they must let the authorities know within three days.

You also have more rights to do with the removal of your data and requests to see all data held on you under GDPR. The new laws state that you can ask a company for a full list of information held on you and that they must answer within 30 days. You can also ask them to delete it promptly under the ‘right to be forgotten’ law that will be part of GDPR. Great news for privacy and consumer rights.

How does it change businesses?

There’s a lot for businesses to adapt to, as you can see from what we’ve touched on so far. The real threat is that many businesses, unfortunately, don’t have appropriate or thorough practices where their data use and storage is concerned. It’s these ones that are at threat; some reports claim that even by the end of last year, only 38% of companies in the UK were even aware of GDPR.

It’s these that are likely to get hit with the big fines, particularly right after GDPR comes into effect – the EU will want to send a clear message at this time that they are serious about the changes. While this shouldn’t affect us as consumers much, you can expect to see GDPR related stories appear in the news headlines as the year unfolds.

A protected future

While it might spell out a hefty fine for some businesses and a hectic period of adjustment for others, the GDPR overall is a very positive thing; stronger consumer rights is a great move to make and we all stand to enjoy more protection and power over our data.

We hope this run-down of the upcoming changes were of use! You can rest assured that we’ll be acting in accordance with GDPR and as always, we are here to help you with a flexible loan to suit your needs if required.

Visit the Everyday Loans main website page to enquire; we regardless hope to see you stop by at the blog section in future for more interesting articles for you to read.

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Andrew Wayland
Marketing Director at Everyday Loans
Andrew Wayland is a financial marketing expert and helped set up Everyday Loans back in 2006. Prior to his position as Head of Marketing for Everyday Loans he worked as the Head of Commercial Development for a tech start up and ran his own PR agency for around 5 years. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-wayland-9018074