How to Ensure Your Website Blog is GDPR FriendlyEric Merlin
Running a blog can be great fun and can even lead to a rewarding career however, you need to make sure that your site adheres to GDPR regulations. In this article, we’ll show you how to ensure your website blog is GDPR-friendly…
If you’re a new blogger – or thinking of becoming one – you may just be embarking on an adventure which can turn out to be great fun. It could even turn into a lucrative, new career. While this is very much possible, there are some things you need to know before starting out. GDPR compensation has recently become a hot topic with some companies and individuals receiving hefty fines for not complying with new data protection standards.
In this article, we’ll take you through the ways in which you can ensure that your website blog is GDPR-friendly…
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was put into place in May 2018 and is designed to regulate the way that businesses and individuals collate, store, and share personal data. From this date, anybody who seeks to collect personal data such as addresses, session activity, and financial details is subject to some strict laws and breaching these laws can have some serious consequences. Since the introduction of GDPR, many businesses have been fined for breaches including a 50 million Euro fine for Google and a whopping 746 million Euro fine for Amazon.
How to Keep Your Blog GDPR Friendly
As a blogger, you may wish to collect data from your followers through email marketing or by collecting information via cookies on your website. When performing any of these activities, there are some rules that you need to follow and, in this section, we’ll take a look at some of these:
- What kind of data is being collected
- The user’s rights with respect to their data
- The notification process for any changes to that policy
- Transparency regarding third party access to data that you are collecting
If you are using cookies on your website to collect personal data, you must (a) make this clear to website visitors and (b) give the user the option to either accept or reject these cookies (in which case, you may wish to inform the user of any limited access which may result in a rejection of cookies).
If you are collecting personal data by asking people to sign up to a newsletter, you must provide terms and conditions as to how the data will be used. You must also provide a way for users to unsubscribe from your newsletter – this is usually done by providing a link within the email or newsletter.
One of the most popular ways of collecting data for newsletters is via a form on your website. While this a convenient way of collating data, you must ensure that you do not include pre-ticked boxes. These are no longer permitted due to the fact that they imply consent without consent being freely given by the user.
It may be that you choose to monetise your blog through endorsements. For instance, if you’re running a beauty blog, you may agree to ‘plug’ a particular brand or product in exchange for payment. While it is absolutely fine to do this, you do need to disclose this within the blog post to make it clear that you have may have been paid by the brand. This helps the user to make an informed purchase decision through transparency.
If you intend to collect email addresses and other personal data to use in your social media advertising, you must include an option for your users to opt in or out of this (usually as a granular tick box) to remain GDPR compliant.
Since the advent of GDPR, social media platforms have been tightening their controls regarding personal data. It’s important to remember that, just because a user has given permission for contact by email, that doesn’t automatically mean permission for social media advertising has also been granted.
Making Sure Your Blog is GDPR Friendly
While all of this may seem like a lot to take in for a simple blog, failing to follow these rules can lead to your blog being taken down and even, in some cases, legal action. There once was a time when marketers would simply trawl the internet and scrape data to use for their own purposes, but those days are now long gone.
Following the steps in this article will help you to make sure that your blog is noticed by the right people and for the right reasons. If you’re unsure as to whether your website is 100% GDPR compliant, it’s always a good idea to secure the services of a professional to help you to stay within the law.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a data breach lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on GDPR regulations. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.