GDPR Compliance: What is It and Are You Ready?

Are you puzzled by that headline? Trying to figure out what GDPR stands for? Let’s begin by working out the answer to that one. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it comes into force on 25th May, 2018.

If this is the first you’ve heard of the new regulations, you’re not alone. However, it is imperative you take the required steps to ensure your site is compliant by the above date.

Who is affected?

This applies to all websites, but here we’re looking at WordPress and WooCommerce website owners. Chances are, you will need to take steps to ensure you are ready for the changes. If you collect data from visitors to your site, you will need to make sure you do so in accordance with the new law. It’s important to note data relates to more than just someone’s name and email address. If your server records the IP address of a visitor, this will be covered by the changes, too.

Using WordPress plugins to assist in compliance

This is a key area to look at. There are plenty of plugins you can use with your WordPress site. Many of these are already being tweaked to ensure they confirm with the new guidelines. But as the site owner, you still have responsibility for making sure any plugin you use ticks all the boxes required by the new law. For example, if you use an analytics tool to help you understand where your traffic is coming from, is that tool compliant? If not, will it be by the time the law comes into effect? It’s important to understand you shouldn’t assume this will be the case.

How does the new law affect WooCommerce site owners?

There isn’t a single set of instructions that will apply to every site owner. No two sites are identical in the way they make sales and store information. Therefore, you must read up on the new law and make sure every aspect of your site is compliant prior to the May 2018 launch date.

Consider this – how and why do you gather information from your customers or visitors? How is it kept, and do you have a policy for allowing people to delete their information from your site or records?

Making changes to your privacy policy

Every website should have a privacy policy. The new law will require changes to be made to this to ensure it is clear on how you comply with GDPR. You should tell visitors what information you collect, how you store it, and who has access to it, among other things. Please be aware this is not an exhaustive list; we’d recommend you read further and visit the official EU website that explains the changes. It’s worth a look – you can check it out at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/data-protection/infographic/2017/index_en.htm now.

Here is a great tool to help you create your Privacy Policy: https://bit.ly/2qToQpt

Remember, if you need further advice or you wish to overhaul your site to ensure you are compliant, we can help. Contact us now for further information.

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