GDPR and the Gods of the Internet

It’s been a shorter week than usual with a public holiday on Monday for Children’s Day. We went away for the weekend to Pohang, a bit of a nostalgic road trip because that’s the city I landed in when I first came to Korea in 2001 and it’s where I met TJ in early 2002. But we came home early because it was raining, so seeing the sights around Pohang and Gwangju was out.

After that day off, I feel like I’ve been struggling to catch up all week. But it was nice to take a break and for the first since forever, I left my laptop behind. But not to worry, our ‘Love Motel’ had TWO computers in our room.

I’m not sure if I should tell you what else was in our love motel…

GDPR

The EU has decided to become GODS OF THE INTERNET and introduce the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Basically, it’s a nightmare for anyone with an online business. There are many things one must do to become GDPR compliant to avoid the wrath of the GODS OF THE INTERNET, aka a very nasty fine.

It seems obscene that the EU can fine my Australian business while I’m resident in South Korea. But apparently, they can.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the EU. If you have EU citizens on your mailing list or want to attract anyone from the EU to your mailing list, you need to follow the GDPR. EU citizens can be anywhere in the world and still be protected by the GDPR.

So, this week I’ve decided to unbury my head from the sand and take a peek at what I need to action.

Being an ostrich about GDPR
Me, poking my head out like a smart ostrich

And the more I look into GDPR compliance, the more I think it’s a good thing.

It’s forcing online marketers to be less sly and more transparent about how we handle our email lists and people will know what they’re signing up for. We can no longer trade an email address for an opt-in. We can send the opt-in, but we can’t immediately add that person to our mailing list without their explicit consent.

This could become standard practice by other nations.

As a consumer, I like it. As a business, I’m starting to like it. It’s forcing us digital marketers to think beyond cheesy tricks and lousy opt-ins that are a clone of what everyone else is doing anyway. We’re going to have to up our game and add more and real value for people to willingly join our newsletter lists.

I’m thinking of giving everything away for free anyway. Email address or not. In some ways, GDPR is liberating.


Originally published at The Smarter Writer.