Social media and GDPR – is your online brand ready for the 25th May?

May 10, 2018

There’s little doubt that the upcoming new GDPR laws which come into effect on 25th May 2018 are making a big noise. If you’ve not started to prepare for how it will affect your business yet, then you need to make it a priority. Facebook-owned WhatsApp, for example, have just announced that a prompt will be displayed when European users log in, asking them to confirm they are 16 and to accept the relevant terms and conditions of use.
This is one example of the impact new GDPR laws will have when in place and how businesses are having to plan to comply with them in all areas, from details kept on a customer’s merchant account to making sure data breaches don’t occur. Of course, social media is a huge tool for most organisations now and this will not escape the reach of GDPR, as WhatsApp has shown.

Is your online brand ready for GDPR?

Any business on the globe that connects or trades with someone based in the EU must comply with the new GDPR laws. As such, you need to make sure that your social media channels are included in this too. Although some may think that social media by definition is a special case, it is not. Social media gives masses of personal data about the people who interact with you, hence the need to think about it in relation to GDPR.

What can you do to safeguard your social media channels?

The key issue for social media when it comes to GDPR is the collection, storage and potential use of any data gained from it. GDPR also requires explicit consent to hold personal data, but it seems that social media companies will be able to cover this with a message that comes up when users log in.
As a company, this leaves the focus more on where you keep any data gained from social media and how you may use it. A username, for example, will be classed as personal data, so you must be careful not to publicly use this and potentially fall foul of the new laws.
Your online brand will also have to be careful in terms of how it takes data from social media channels and places it into other useful business systems, such as a CRM. Under new laws, you would need permission from the person in question to do this and not simply add it in yourself. Consent is set to be a real focus of the new GDPR laws, so you must make sure you have consent from the social media user to store or use their data in a CRM.

GDPR will affect social media

As you can see, the new GDPR laws will affect your online social media brand greatly. If in doubt, make sure to ask for consent to store or use any personal details externally, along with explaining why. This should see you cover the basics in terms of complying but, naturally, it is your responsibility to get fully up to speed on it all.