The most robust and significant of these changes came in the form of the General Data Protection Regulations rolled out in the European Union. This gamechanger, implemented on May 25, 2018, has become the global standard for data privacy.
The GDPR, which was 20 years in the making, was designed to give EU residents more control over their data. This includes citizens of any of the 28 EU member countries needing to give their explicit consent or another legal basis for processing to be present before a company can process their data. Additionally, citizens can request information regarding how their data is used or even for their data to be deleted from a company’s system, completely.
One criticism of the GDPR is that the territorial scope has not been defined in enough detail. This results in GDPR applying to websites that process data of EU residents living within the EU, impacting most websites.
But even if your agency isn’t affected yet, you should expect the GDPR to form the foundation for a global data protection standard. It doesn’t hurt to get ahead, in the meantime.
Websites designed before these laws were passed are now needing to update their privacy policies to be GDPR-compliant.
A website design agency is responsible for ensuring — to the best of its ability — that its clients end up with websites that connect with a target audience. They also have an opportunity to help a business understand the importance of privacy policies.
By creating websites with privacy policies, an agency helps build trust between their client and consumers. This trust is essential to developing brand loyalty, as well as providing peace of mind to consumers who are especially concerned with data privacy.
A website needs to include company contact details because users continue to have some level of control over what happens to their data even after it’s been collected.
According to Article 6 of the GDPR, a website cannot process personal data unless it has a specific purpose to do so. This stops the indiscriminate collecting and processing of data. Along these same lines, a website has to detail how long data will be stored. It’s important to remember that private data should not be stored for any longer than necessary.
Though the specific companies a website shares personal data with don’t have to be named, the site must provide some general idea of the type of organizations that will be using the data. This can include third-party services, such as payment processing tools, analytics suites, automated email service, and so on.
When talking about transferring data to a third country, the GDPR is referencing any country outside of the EU. So, if a website is hosted in the US but processing data of EU residents in the EU, then it would be considered to be transferring data to a third country. The European Commission has a list of countries which they believe have adequate data protection.
Not only does the GDPR create these rights for users, but it also requires that websites make users aware of their rights. In-depth details of users’ rights are explained in Chapter 3 of the GDPR.
Through Termageddon, it’s possible to generate any website policy in three easy steps. This can include privacy policies, disclaimers, end-user license agreements, and terms and conditions. After making a purchase, there are just a few quick questions to answer about the website before generating a code that can be embedded in the website’s footer.
The best part about a Termaggedon policy is that it automatically updates as laws changes, which means there is no need to check and recheck compliance. It’s also possible to manually edit sections, which remain intact regardless of future updates. Such policies can be shared with all associated parties, such as a web developer, client, or attorney.
GDPR & An Important Note About Consent
Along with the GDPR comes a new definition of consent: users should be able to make informed choices about whether to give a website permission to collect and process their data. This means consent should be genuinely given.
Of course, the most important thing to remember is that a user may withdraw their consent whenever they wish to do so.
New legislation throughout the world requires businesses and organizations to provide and develop clear policies to protect personal data. This often means giving users the right to request access to their data and a clear understanding of how their data is being used if they provide consent.
Navigating compliance for these laws as they continue to develop and change can be a challenge. However, a failure to do so can be costly, opening the door for lawsuits. Thankfully, there are available solutions, such as Termaggedon, that can quickly and effectively create privacy policies to protect website design agencies and their clients.
Get in touch with the experts at Termageddon to ask questions and assist with compliance around relevant data protection regulations.
Maddy Osman is an SEO Content Strategist who works with clients like AAA, Automattic, Kinsta, and Sprout Social. Her background in WordPress web design contributes to a well-rounded understanding of SEO and how to connect brands to relevant search prospects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.