Five key things to know regarding changes to the data protection law

Five key things operators need to know about changes to the data protection law

by Julian Ross, Managing Director of Wireless Social

1. Is your outlet at risk of breaking the data protection law?

In light of recent news regarding the new Data Protection Bill, operators need to act quickly to become compliant. Smart companies in the digital economy are setting the standard for data protection and security and, as an industry, we need to ensure we are doing the same.


As of May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become law with the new bill entirely replacing the old Data Protection Act.


GDPR introduces tougher constraints on consent for use of personal data, rights of access to data, and a person’s right to erase personal data. Enforcement of these will be strengthened as the Data Protection Law is brought more up to date with today’s digital world. 


Failure to comply will result in fines to businesses and the burden is very much on operators to implement new policies and procedures in accordance with proposals in the bill for when it is made a legal requirement.


2. Making consent easier for customers

One of the key features of GDPR focuses on consent and giving people a clear choice on how their data will be used. Operators must ensure they put procedures in place to give individuals genuine choice to opt-in, as well as control over their own personal data. 


3. What does GDPR mean for your Wi-Fi service?

Changes are being made in the log-in access journey for all Wi-Fi services, giving people positive opt-in or opt-out options, including links to concise privacy policies and terms and conditions.


Term and conditions must include the intended usage of such data and provide the public with the ability to opt in for marketing messages and clear instructions on how to opt out at any time. Consent requires a positive opt-in from people without the use of pre-ticked boxes or any other method of consent by default.


4. Act now or lose out!

Right now our industry is not prepared for this rigorous data protection legislation. Proactive operators should be implementing policies and procedures now, as well as continuing to implement changes as and when more detailed information becomes clear.


Updated information will cover data deletion requests, how users can get hold of information more freely, and what an expansion of personal data to include IP addresses and small text files – “cookies” –will mean.


5. Keeping up with the Joneses

With personalised emails seeing click-through rates grow 14% and conversion rates 10%, not acting now will leave companies behind their competitors, who will continue to personalise their marketing activity based on customer data.


Companies can use the data collected through their Wi-Fi provider to send personalised communications to customers, bringing about a whole new way of engaging with them by sending the exact information they want to receive across the right platform at the right time.


Article first appeared in Propel Newsletter 'Friday Opinion' September 15th 2017



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