5 Things You Need to Know About GDPR

GDPR, meetings
The new GDPR regulations have implications for all meetings with EU participants.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new data protection law in the European Union, goes into effect May 25. What does it mean for you?

The new GDPR regulates the collection, use, storage, disclosure, and other processing of “personally identifiable information,” such as passport information or credit card numbers, and requires businesses to protect this information. It applies to every meeting with EU attendees. Here are 5 things you need to know:

Specifically what types of data are affected?

Event planners collect financial (credit card), medical (allergies, for example), travel (passport) and contact data in a typical registration form. If you collect IP address information or “cookies” from visitors to your website, this data also needs to be protected.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

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There will be significant fines for not meeting the requirements. According to the GDPR website, organizations can be fined up to 4 percent of annual global turnover for breaching GDPR.

What if my company is based outside the EU?

The new regulation applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

How will my marketing practices be affected?

The GDPR will directly affect email marketing to EU residents by creating new requirements for obtaining permission to send commercial messages. Not only will it require consent, it will requires that organizations disclose how any information obtained electronically will be used.

Where can I learn more?

See the following resources:

GDPR web site

The Events Industry Council

International Association of Privacy Professionals

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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