A basic introduction to GDPR for content managers


Ultimately, GDPR will be good for both consumers and content managers.


On May 25, 2018, European governments will enact the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR will be the most extensive data protection policy in the world and will impact all businesses operating within the EU. Under the GDPR, EU residents now have the right to know how their personally identifiable information is being collected and used. This new policy provides a unique set of challenges and opportunities for content managers. Here are the basics on how GDPR will impact our industry.

How the GDPR defines personal data

The most important piece to know about GDPR is how “personal data” is defined. Personal data is defined as any information that can be used to identify a person. This includes both direct identifiers such as a person’s name, home address, and ID numbers. It also includes indirect information such as birth date, gender, and location. Websites will not be able to collect this data through a long list of touchpoints. These touch points include “IP addresses, social media accounts, email addresses, accounts numbers, browser cookies, and more” (Tenfold). 

Challenges for content managers

The biggest challenge content managers will face with GDPR is with target advertising. Traditionally, content managers have used personal data for marketing analytics, creating buyer personas, and determining publishing outlets. This information has been essential to crafting messaging and reaching the desired audience. Content managers will still be able to conduct this operations if consumers grant them permission to access and collect their data. However, for people who opt out of data collection, these functions will be more challenging.

As a result of GDPR, companies will have to rely more on content managers’ skills and creativity to engage audiences.

New opportunities for content managers

Within these challenges though, also lie some really exciting opportunities for content managers. First of all, content management will be more important than ever. It won’t be as easy to reach intended audiences. So companies will rely more on content managers' skills and creativity to engage audiences. Secondly, content managers will be able to be more experimental and innovative to overcome these challenges. Finally, in case the case of marketing data, more is not necessarily better. It is better to have quality data and an interested audience. The data sets collected after GDPR go into effect, will be truly reliable. Ultimately, GDPR will be good for both consumers and content managers.

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