Lately, it seems that whenever the European Union passes a law regarding the internet, the rest of the world groans.
The EU is out of touch. They have made that much clear with Article 13.
They also seem intent on making our lives as internet marketers significantly more difficult.
BUT they also have their intentions in the right place. They seek to aim the freedoms and privacy of internet goers, and to look after the intellectual property of content creators.
And that’s what we have to remember when dealing with GDPR. Sure, it’s a nuisance. But if done correctly it can help to improve relationships with people who might buy from us some day.
What is GDPR?
GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation - a policy that aims to control the way that companies are using the data of private individuals. In particular, it aims to ensure that people are aware of how their information is being used, and that no information is used without their consent. Again, these are all admirable objectives and things that should be applauded.
The issue is that this affects everyone from big corporations who can afford the intrusion and who deserve to be monitored, to smaller marketers who are just trying to get by.
You might not think that GDPR applies to you, but it almost certainly does. If you show Google AdSense or any other kind of your ad on your website. If you are using Facebook pixels to inform your Facebook remarketing campaign… these are both scenarios where you will need to comply with GDPR.
When you put a cookie on someone’s computer and subsequently check that cookie, you are essentially tagging them and then watching their movement around the web.
And even if you aren’t actively doing this with Facebook remarketing, that doesn’t mean that Google isn’t doing it on the behalf of countless other marketers through your use of AdSense.
You might think that this is entirely harmless and there’s no way it can come back to the visitor. But consider what would happen if they were looking for something private and then a relevant ad popped up while they were on the computer with a friend? This IS a serious privacy concern.
And as such, you should treat it thusly. Annoying though it is, all you need is a small disclaimer and the ability to prove you got permission from the visitor. If you can do that, then you can carry on and feel better for it.