Saturday, May 5, 2018

What is GDPR and why do I care?

The hot topic in the author world right now is GDPR and how it affects our websites, blogs and newsletters. I've spent hours trying to figure out how to be sure I am in compliance and I am still unclear on a couple of areas. This is the clearest definition I found:
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of data protection regulations (binding legislative acts) governing the use of personal data across the European Union (EU). It takes effect May 25, 2018. Even if your business is not located in the EU, you must comply with the GDPR rules if you “offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects.”
Personal data is anything that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a person including cookie information, names, email addresses, IP addresses, device IDs, bank details, and more. 
Under the GDPR, if you are collecting, processing, or storing applicable personal data from EU customers, you must only obtain that data through opt-in consent, contractual necessity, a legitimate interest, a vital interest, a public task, or a legal obligation. These are all narrowly defined within the regulation and the subject of much of the current discussion surrounding the applicability of the regulation to different business models. 
If the GDPR applies to you, you must inform your customers under which basis you are collecting the data and the purpose for the collection. This may include updating privacy policies and cookie notices. [source]
What I have done so far:
  • Stopped using Google Analytics
  • Stopped using third party traffic tracking service, Clicky
  • Removed all Google Adsense ads from all my blogs (yes, I have more than this one)
  • Added a "terms of service" agreement to all forms on all my websites/blogs
  • Added a privacy statement on all blogs/websites in addition to the existing disclaimers
  • Considered stopping my newsletter
What I don't know for sure:
  • If Google is tracking follower information from comments on my blog (hoping that is covered under the legitimate interest)
  • If I need to remove any affiliate ad links (99% sure those are okay because I'm not tracking any information)
What I still need to do:
  • Hopefully, nothing!
I know I'm small potatoes (okay, a microscopic piece of potato), but I prefer to be prepared. I just hope I'm getting all the bases covered.

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