What Is GDPR and Its Purpose?
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect on 25th May 2018. It consists of a set of new legislation with the aim of consolidating the personal data rights and protections in the European Union (EU).
These regulations will have a large impact on businesses in the EU that are gathering and utilizing their customers’ personal information (e.g.: names, emails, phones, photos, ID numbers, card numbers, IP address, social network accounts and activities, and so on).
It’s worth noting that even when you are not located in EU but handling the data of any individual living in this area, GDPR will be applied to you. In other words, GDPR can spread its effects to a tremendous number of companies around the world.
How Does GDPR Affect Magento Stores?
It’s very common for Magento websites to collect their shoppers’ personal information via registration form or newsletter subscription.
Under GDPR, the store owners must unveil what they are going to do with the collected customer information and get permissions to do it.
Also, there is a particular limit on how long the stores can store and process the data.
Importantly, if your e-commerce business was accused of GDPR rules violation, you might pay a high price – giving up 4% of your annual revenue for punishment.
Last but not least, if the Magento stores operate globally, their data processes must comply with EU GDPR regulations.
How Do Magento Stores Comply GDPR? (5 Steps)
If this is the first time you have heard about GDPR and its strong amount of penalization, we guess that you must be very confused and perplexed. Therefore, we would like to suggest you some steps to confront these new rules:
Step 1: Examine GDPR privacy policies
Undoubtedly, GDPR regulations are quite complex, which took 4 years of preparation and debate to complete. If you are not good at legal issues, we highly recommend you to hire a legal consulting firm who can explain GDPR requirements for you and suggest what you should/ should not do.
Step 2: Review your policies in documentation and in practice
It’s crucial that all of your disclosed privacy policies must be compliant with GDPR, but more importantly, your behaviors must follow these policies as well.
In general, most of the Magento e-commerce stores are equipped by third-party extensions to enhance their website performance. The thing is that there are some modules and plugins that require and collect customers’ personal information for different purposes. Therefore, it’s necessary for you to check the privacy policies and behaviors of your extension providers to make sure that all GDPR requirements are satisfied.
Furthermore, assumed that your customer asks you to give him/her access on their full information that your store is storing, you will be obliged to show them within one month and at no extra cost.
Step 3: Filter and re-arrange all of your data
According to GDPR, you cannot store personal data without specific and acceptable purposes. Otherwise, you might be accused of exploiting data illegally.
Due to that, you should eliminate the unimportant database from your storage and well organize the remaining. As a result, you can effectively present your data under GDPR investigations (if any).
Step 4: Handle customer requests of data deletion
GDPR indicates that individuals have the right to force you to eliminate their private information thoroughly in your data storage. In other words, your customers will have full authority over their data.
The problem is that if you have a large database of customers, it might be complicated to delete certain users’ information entirely on your system. More specifically, you have to navigate exactly all possible places where the information is stored and remove it without affecting other data.
Step 5: Enable opt-in boxes instead of pre-checked ones
From our conservation, 60% of Magento stores apply the pre-checked boxes when collecting their customers’ information. For example, in the new account registration form, the Sign Up for Newsletter is often ticked by default. Then, if the customers don’t notice that field they will become a newsletter subscriber passively.
Under GDPR regulations, the store owners are no longer allowed to do that. All of the pre-ticked boxes must be replaced by opt-in ones so that the customers can decide whether they want provided option or not.
What Did Magento Do To Help The Merchants?
Up to now, Magento has become one of the most popular e-commerce platforms and served customers around the world, the EU included obviously. That’s why they cannot be an outsider.
In particular, Magento has made some changes related to data protection in its policies/ contracts and more importantly, in technology. They will help the store owners to effectively identify which kind of data is being stored and where the collected data locate in such a way as to adhere to GDPR requirements of transparency. Also, Magento officials will carry out several security audits throughout all of their products.
Besides, Magento provides us with data mappings for the merchants to easily define where the needed information is located (all possible locations). At the same time, they introduce the Data Processing Agreement (DPA) in order to declare their commitment to GDPR regulations and to Magento users.
Apart from it, e-businesses that are using either Magento Commerce or Magento Order Management can seek assistance from Magento support team to deal with data collecting, amendment or removal request, and so on.
For all Magento e-commerce businesses, purchasers’ personal information is a valuable source for personalized experience improvement and marketing activities. In fact, GDPR will not stop you from collecting this data but doing it with transparency and customer respect. Moreover, if your store implements the privacy policies strictly, you will definitely gain more trust from your buyers.