GDPR And eCommerce: Importance and Benefits of Data Privacy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects ecommerce companies by requiring them to follow strict guidelines for collecting, processing, and storing the personal data of EU citizens. The GDPR gives individuals the right to access, erase, and object to the use of their personal data.

The regulation applies to any company that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of whether the company is based inside or outside the EU. This means that even companies based in the United States must comply with the GDPR and ecommerce if they process the data of EU citizens. 

So, what does this mean for eCommerce companies? 

If you run an online store, there’s a good chance that you’ll be processing the personal data of EU citizens. This could include names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

You may also collect other data types, such as purchase history and IP addresses. Depending on the type of data you’re collecting, you may need to get explicit consent from the individual before you can process it.

You should also ensure that you have a data protection policy that complies with the GDPR. This should include details on how you collect, process and store personal data. 

The GDPR is a complex regulation, but it’s essential to make sure that you comply with it. By doing so, you’ll be protecting the personal data of EU citizens and avoiding hefty fines. 

FAQs Related To The Webinar: 

Q. What’s The Difference Between The UK’s And EU’s GDPR Since After Brexit? 

First and foremost, the UK still enjoys the adequacy decision of the European Commission, which means there is an adequate level of data protection in the UK, and it reflects the data protection level in the EU. The UK is facing Brexit but is not treated as a third country regarding data protection. There’s still a free flow of data transfers between the EU and the UK. 

The fundamental principles of the UK GDPR remain precisely the same as the EU’s GDPR. So those who face daily data transfers between these two regions don’t need to worry for at least the next three years. After that there will be a revision of the adequacy decision and in the meantime the privacy law UK is still being monitored by the European Commission. 

Q. What Is The GDPR Checklist? What Should Every Website Have To Comply With GDPR? 

To comply with the GDPR is compliance with a couple of main principles listed in Article 5 of the GDPR. 

1- The data being processed has to be processed lawfully. There always has to be a legal basis for it. 

2- There has to be fairness and transparency in the data processing. Of course, there has to be a purpose limitation. Therefore it means that we do not process data for any other purposes than those that were collected. 

3- Data should be processed only at an absolute minimum so we only collect what we need to achieve accuracy

4- Do not spread the data. Refrain from copying the data within the organisation. Always store it at a place secured adequately by technical, organisational measures. 

5- There always has to be said of appropriate technical, organisational measures that guarantee data integrity, confidentiality, and availability

Q. What Does Data Privacy Look Like? 

We have seen thousands of different cookie banners on other websites. This is the first point of contact between you and your client or the user. So, when someone enters your website and sees the cookie consent banner. It has to be constructed so that it will provide all those principles in an infirm, simple and transparent way. 

Therefore, a GDPR cookie banner is the first crucial step in the customer’s or the user’s journey. 

In simple terms, we know it’s a cookie consent management platform that a website should have as the first instance a visitor appears to get consent. 

Q. What Differentiates Compliant Cookie Consent From Non-Compliant Consent? 

You require three things to have a fully compliant consent management banner;  

  1. In order to have explicit prior consent, you should have three options: accept, reject, or set preferences. Whenever you see banners with a tick box that says “accept all” or “it’s all okay”, that is not compliant. So you must have the option to look through all the different types of cookies. 
  2. When you click on preferences, you should have a table that lists the different types of cookies or third-party tracking technologies in which a particular website is currently involved. 
  3. Then it should also offer you the choice to enable the ones you want and disable the ones you don’t.

Q. What Are The Consequences Of Non-Compliance With GDPR? 

The moment you place a cookie on the end user’s device, you’re violating not only the GDPR and ecommerce but also the Privacy Directives, which states very clearly that “the moment you read out any information placed on the end user’s device, or you place any kind of cookie unless these are necessary to deliver a service that the user requested by visiting the website, you have to have their consent.” 

“By having consent means that you have to be able to demonstrate that you have collected the consent.”

The right consent management platform will allow you to demonstrate that you’ve collected the end user’s consent. This is another issue that requires attention.

Another very shady thing is when sometimes the advertising agencies advise them that a solution is to put a third-party cookie as a first-party cookie. Then the organisations say they don’t use any third-party cookies and the end users think okay, so I’m safe. But at the end of the day, it turns out they put the third-party cookies as first-party cookies. They put tracking cookies on the website themselves. They still track the user’s behaviour on the website without informing them of doing so, which is also a violation. 

Most serious violations are when they violate Article 5 of GDPR, which contains all the principles of lawful data processing. So any breach of that article will have serious consequences, not always only financially but it’s bad publicity that the organisation has to pay. 

Q. What’s The Exercise To Gain Customers’ Trust?

For any digital organisation, the most important thing is the brand. Which is basically based upon the customers trusting you and holding you as a credible organisation. So once you lose that trust, getting that back is challenging. If you do your best to build that trust, you will gain more customers, partners, and suppliers, because trust is the most crucial success factor for a digital organisation. 

Since the pandemic, there’s been a massive shift to remote working. There has been a doubling of data and cyber breaches, which has broken a lot of trust for people who feel nervous about transacting with e-commerce companies. Because of the risk of cyber breaches, it is even more critical for companies to ensure that customers are satisfied. And also their private and personal information is utilised only as they have given their consent. 

Cookie policy must be clear to the customers because in some of the organisations it could be more transparent so customers are more evident. They think that they’re consenting to something entirely different. Misleading customers breaks trust. It affects your reputation. So, ensuring compliance will not just protect you from fines and reputational damage but helps your business, and it will impact your rate of return in the long term. 

Q. What Are Some Basic Things To Do To Stay GDPR Compliant? 

1- The first and most important part is to ensure you don’t drop any cookies. All scripts blocked. 

2- Block scripts and prevent the placement of cookies, pixels, or other trackers on a device when someone first uses or enters your website. That’s the stage where the user sees the banner and has the opportunity to make a decision, either “accept,” “reject” or “leave me alone.” 

3- Apart from cookie banners, there has to be a possibility to see the privacy notice. The website owner or the online shop owner must provide all the data processing information. 

  1. This website should clearly inform what categories of personal data it collects, why it collects them, how long it stores them, and how the data subject can access and exercise their privacy rights.
  2. So there should be an email address and a contact form to contact the website owner in order to request their deletion of the data correction and or simply access to the data. 

To track the data and maintain the correct data mapping that goes with identifying applicable laws, consent management tools enable an organisation to process the data transparently. 

Q. Are There Any Other Policies That Businesses Should Implement, Not Just The Online Website Front But On The Organisation Side? 

The whole issue of privacy and security should be a matter for a company’s board and the c-suite for an effective and successful e-commerce business. They should develop a whole privacy framework and a strategy for different business areas. A website is just the basics because that’s your initial channel and your first impression with your online customers. 

But beyond that, you should be looking at all the processes and procedures currently taking place in your organisation to ensure that you have the checks and balances in place. 

From a governance perspective, it’s essential to conduct a thorough audit of your organization to identify the flow of data, its usage, storage, and the end-users.

That will help the organisation in terms of identifying gaps in terms of digital processing. As well as it will help them in terms of producing more detailed analyses and gaining some customer insights, which will help the organisation to address the actual needs and wants of customers. 

Regarding your organisational strategy, the technology and privacy strategy should be an essential part of your strategy. We also think of a data retention policy because you have a lot of data around to see. You should be able to fulfil your informational obligation and inform the data subjects how long you will store that data. 

If you have a process that requires a privacy impact assessment, you’ll have to check whether the data retention periods are in place. 

Q. Is This A Legal Obligation For The GDPR Staff Training?

Regularly train all staff members, including trainees, to understand their responsibilities under privacy regulation to prevent data breaches caused by human error. If people make a mistake, they will know exactly what process to follow, and they will be able to identify and rectify that mistake quickly. 

Training and awareness it’s something that belongs to the list of technical, and organisational measures that the controller or processor has to have in place. The organisation should be able to demonstrate that its employees have undergone GDPR staff training

Thinking about the checklist again, so we got the consent management platform, we got our privacy notice, we got all the required policies depending on your internal operations that GDPR audit, and then obviously training your staff with the fundamentals of GDPR so they can minimise secure delete any private data that they acquire or control or process. 

Manage Cookie Consent With A Seers Consent Management Platform 

Seers is the leading Privacy & Consent Management Platform, helping 50000+ businesses in achieving compliance all around the globe. 

To safeguard consumers’ privacy rights, we implement the industry’s leading data privacy management practices. Our focus is on providing high-value compliance solutions with over 1.2 billion managed consents.

Seers cookie consent management tool is easy to use, with a plug-and-play approach that requires no on-site manual deployment. It also has a high degree of customizability to integrate seamlessly with your website’s theme, design, and style. 

Get access to a wide range of GDPR, PECR, CCPA, and ePrivacy compliance solutions designed to make compliance easy.

How Can I Implement Cookie Consent To My Website? 

You can add cookie consent on your website in three easy and simple steps.

  1. Sign up on Seers for free. 
  2. Customise your cookie consent banner layout. 
  3. Copy the cookie banner code and paste it to your website. 

See the detailed guide and follow how to implement a cookie banner on a website

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