So it’s getting closer and closer before the new Data Protection Regualtion comes in and I know it sounds so daunting to a lot of bloggers as it’s so hard to know where to even start? I felt the exact same but I did a little bit of research to make sure I was doing everything that needed to be done to stay in line with the new regulations, so that’s exactly what this post is about! For anyone stressing over the new regulations, hopefully you will be at ease by the end of reading this post. I am by no means a lawyer, nor do I think I know everything about GDPR but hopefully what I’ve learned will clear up some worries for some of you.
GDPR may sound super scary but really it covers so much of the internet and is intended for big internet companies such as Google and not for small bloggers like me and you, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t things we should do to keep our blogs in good condition. As most of you probably know the new regulation comes into affect on 25th May 2018, so not that long away now, but what exactly is it?
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and was approved by the European Commission in 2016. It says that if any website collects or stores any data relating to EU citzens then you need to comply with the following:
- Tell the user who you are, why you collect the data, and how long it will be stored.
- Get clear consent before collecting any data
- Let users access/delete their data
- Let users know if data breaches occur
What’s Important about GDPR?
GDPR has created some new requirements in regards to how wbsites should protect its readers and individuals’ data. It has also created larger fines, with them now standing at 20 million Euro or 4% of revenue as the maximum fines for non compliance. In saying that, it is EXTREMELY unlikely for a blogger to be fined, as the EU has much larger problems than little old me and you. Its also important to note that the first action taken by the EU will be a warning for anyone not complying with the regulations.
So what exactly is “Personal Data”?
Personal data is explained as
Any information relating to an “identifiable person”. Identifiable information includes such things as a name, ID number, location, ethnicity or political standing. Data doesn’t have to be confidential or sensitive to qualify as “personal”.
When talking about personal data in regards to blogs it will be the following:
- Blog post comments data (name, email, IP)
- Traffic stats plugins/tools such as Google Analytics
- 3rd party hosted services such as Jetpack, Bloglovin’ and Disqus
- Email signup forms such as Mailchimp or FeedBurner
- Contact forms
- Issues relating to the location of your web host. E.g. data is transferred to servers outside the EU
So now onto the most important bit…
What should I do to make my blog GDPR compliant?
The good news for us WordPress users is that they are making sure to help us all to become GDPR compliant with us doing as little work as possible. Not only WordPress but Google are also making sure that they are putting their best foot forward and working a lot behind the scenes on GDPR for us all so this will be perfect for anyone with a Blogger blog as you are covered there. But of course it is your site so there are still some main things that you need to look at:
- Contact any third party services that your blog uses to see if there is anything that you should be doing in regards to the information they store. eg. Disgus, Jetpack, Shopstyle etc.
- If you have a newsletter with your blog and gather information such as email addresses, you must provide the choice of being able to opt out or unsubscribe from such emails. You should also make sure that any sign up forms tell the users what data they are storing and why.
- Ensure that your wordpress software is up to date on the latest version.
- Make sure all the themes that your site has are all up to date, you can turn on the automatic updates feature to make sure that you don’t forget.
Thank you for reading,
Finally, share this guide! The more bloggers that make their sites GDPR compliant, the safer our online community will become. If we all work together we can make the internet a safer place for our data.
If you have any questions or extra information you think we’ve missed, be sure to leave a comment below! 🤸
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