Privacy is an important point, if not the most important point, when you use data for marketing and sales or to avoid fraud or default. Especially regarding the changes that the GDPR introduces. But understanding exactly how it works and what is and is not allowed is quite a challenge. That is why I try to explain the privacy laws in this series of blogs. What do you need to know as an organization? How do we as a data company deal with protecting personal privacy?
It always strikes me how little is known about what is and is not allowed when it comes to collecting personal information. At parties and events, I always receive the same questions: How do you get data? What do you know about me? Is this allowed? Who know about this? Every time I explain that it is completely legal, comes from public sources and/or is obtained with permission, people are surprised.
New privacy legislation
The protection of personal information has become a hot topic in recent years. That is not surprising, because a lot has changed due to the accelerated digitization and the access to and distribution of data has increased enormously in scale. As a result, consumers start to wonder: do I want companies to know this much about me, and why do I not have any control over this? The new privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), is an answer to that.
Dealing with the GDPR
The GDPR officially replaces the current Personal Data Protection Act as of 25 May 2018. As such, consumers obtain the right to be forgotten, the right to access and correction of data. This has the necessary implications for you as a marketeer or credit manager. But it also offers opportunities. As long as you stick to the rules, data offers unprecedented possibilities. How do you comply with that? First and foremost, this depends on the goal for which you use the consumer data: for marketing purposes or to prevent fraud or default? In addition to the legal stipulations, as a marketeer or credit manager, you need to consider for every request: is it ethically responsible?
Legal obligation and ethical obligation
Just like the companies for whom we collect consumer data, I weigh every assignment for whether it is ethically responsible and put it to a legal test. My search began over ten years ago, when I was confronted with housing fraud as a landlord. I wanted to figure out what could be done about that and founded the National Reporting Point for Undesirable Tenant Behaviour, better known as the NMOH Foundation. I dove into the law books and jurisprudence and developed my ethical compass for collecting personal data. In the years that followed, I started working as, among other things, a Big Data business developer for different corporations. Until about a year ago, I started my own data company.