GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is coming on May 26th, 2018 and most companies, particularly in the United States, are in a rush to get their website into compliance. The high-level view of GDPR is that it is major European Union legislation that puts the power of personal data ownership back into the hands of individuals. This might sound scary, and in the current paradigm of personal data being the property of corporations, it might even sound like it’s flipping business on its head.
Businesses are now being challenged to not only be innovative, but to do so in a way that treats personal data with dignity and respect
However, the WEBDOGS team sees this as an amazing advancement for society and therefore the web. Businesses are now being challenged to not only be innovative, but to do so in a way that treats personal data with dignity and respect.
Even still, the GDPR has been met with panic and frustration because it is not easy to understand. In fact, WEBDOGS has been working with a number of clients to bring them into compliance and it’s quickly become clear that the rules aren’t black and white. Consider the GDPR Checklist is a daunting legal and technological to-do list.
Of course, a company could simply block all traffic from EU countries and not have to worry about GDPR. But, in a highly globalized society this approach simply isn’t tenable. We’re just as intertwined with users in the UK and Germany as in the United States.
This writing is less about specifically how to bring a site into compliance with GDPR (though we are working on that) and more intended to be words of encouragement as companies go through the process. Simply put, the GDPR is good for society. Let’s embrace it!
In fact, WEBDOGS will be recommending the application of GDPR compliance to everyone, not just users in the EU. From a technology perspective, it’s actually easier to build a system that treats all users the same. From a philosophical perspective, it just makes sense to build systems that empower your users and build a relationship of trust.
The WEBDOGS team is seeing something revolutionary and our cursory prediction is that the GDPR will be objectively good. Of course, there are certainly some parts that need improvement (e.g. businesses can get punished for being attacked by criminals), but on the whole it’s a major philosophical change that will humanize software and the web.