RAAK_Blog-Header_t’s time to change your ways…

It’s time to change your ways…

Now the debate about GDPR is in full swing — or at least a few steps higher on your priority list —  it should come as no surprise that consent is not your only concern. For years we have been told to ask contacts for as much data as you can possibly ask for. You never know what might come in handy in the (possibly very distant) future. Yes, it’s that good ole ‘big data’ story.

Besides the fact that a big chunk of that data will be outdated by now, it will also be subject to new rules. Storing customer data such as geolocation and behaviour or preferences, are often stored without the customer’s knowledge. Future regulation will force you to alter your approach or current practice.

Processing data is no exception. Any information that is linked to a customer, is subject to the GDPR regulations we mentioned in our previous post. Simply put: both profiling and targeting are no longer possible without the customers’ explicit consent.

Storing and processing data
Before we dig further into this, we just want to mention that there are different ways of working with data. For instance, do you intend to use it to tailor content and segment your database? Or will you use it for statistical purposes? In both cases you need to take the necessary measures in order to comply with the new legislation.

This is an extensive one. To keep things clear, we’ve broken it down into 6 points:

  • Old data
    This is an easy one: if you’re not using it, then get rid of it.
  • Time
    Never store data after it has fulfilled its purpose. That purpose being the reason why you asked for the information in the first place. If you do wish to keep that data, you need additional consent from your contacts.
  • Accuracy
    As we mentioned before, data is often kept for future purposes. Which makes it subject to change in the meantime. It’s your responsibility to keep that information accurate. If not, it loses its purpose and must be deleted in due course.
  • Anonymity
    Data can be used for other purposes such as stats. But it must be consequently anonymised – no exceptions.
  • Technology
    You are responsible for collecting, storing and safeguarding any personal data. Make sure your data is securely stored and is only accessible to trusted parties.
  • B2B
    B2B rules offered some exceptions to B2C rules. However, using, storing and processing data will be treated equally. In other words: prospecting without consent, is not allowed.

As we mentioned earlier, it all comes down to the following: you won’t be able to process any type of data, without having a person’s full consent. Processing means ‘any operation performed on personal data’. Sharing data with other departments or sub-brands without consent, is also illegal.

Targeting and behavioural data are no different. Using web behaviour directly related to an individual in the contact database, is again not permitted without their proper consent.

When is it okay to process without consent?
In cases where you build business intelligence or generic reporting, it’s allowed to store data. But do keep in mind that the information cannot be linked to an individual.

Working with partners
When you’re co-operation with a third party, who is responsible for what?

Working with partners who have access to your data, or your client’s data if that’s the case, is always risky. You need to set the rules for every party involved. Be sure to share the necessary requirements at the beginning of each process. That allows you to align everybody’s responsibilities and don’t carry the liability on your own.

Put it to paper and make it clear for everybody involved. It could save you a lot of hassle later on.


After last week’s episode, the above shouldn’t come as a surprise. Consent needs to cover whatever it is you wish to use data for, no matter what the source is. Working with third parties will imply extra caution. Set the rules and don’t settle for anything less. If they screw up, you screw up. Taking the blame for somebody else’s lack of professionalism is the last thing you need.

Posted on
Nov 17, 2017