The GDPR: It’s a Pain, But ALL Bloggers Need to Take Action

The GDPR and How It Affects ALL Bloggers | Not Dressed As Lamb

How many emails have you received in the last few weeks about the GDPR and companies asking you to update your mailing preferences and read their new privacy policy? A lot, I imagine.

I predict that when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May, only a tiny percentage of bloggers around the world will be ready and compliant. If you blog and/or collect data of any kind about your readers (we’re talking mainly about email addresses) then you need to be GDPR ready.

I have a feeling many bloggers will think it doesn’t apply to them as they’re not in the EU. However, if you make your blog accessible to anyone in the EU (which is just about every blogger, isn’t it – who blocks their blogs from countries outside of their own?) then GDPR applies to you.

But don’t panic. Those that are really going to be caught out are the big companies, but in the same way that bloggers need to disclose sponsorship and payment properly, we all need to take a few simple steps to adhere to these new rules.

Here’s a very quick guide to why, what and how you should be GDPR ready by Friday (remember US/Canadian/Australian bloggers – this applies to you too)!

 

What is this GDPR everyone’s talking about?

Here’s a quick rundown (I took this from Mailchimp who are one of the top mailing list hosting services):

 

The GDPR is a European Union (EU) privacy law that will affect businesses around the world when it becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018. It regulates how any organization that is subject to the Regulation treats or uses the personal data of people located in the EU. Personal data is any piece of data that, used alone or with other data, could identify a person. If you collect, change, transmit, erase, or otherwise use or store the personal data of EU citizens, you’ll need to comply with the GDPR.

You need to have a legal basis, like consent, to process an EU citizen’s personal data. This consent must be specific and verifiable.

Verifiable consent requires a written record of when and how someone agreed to let you process their personal data. Consent must also be unambiguous and involve a clear affirmative action. This means clear language and no pre-checked consent boxes.

 

To summarise for the purposes of bloggers: If you offer any sort of email updates for your blog, no matter where you are in the world, you need to have collected that information under the new GDPR guidelines. So you need to make sure that new information (emails) you collect is collected properly, and that the information you have already collected has been checked via the new way of gaining consent.

 

What do bloggers have to do to comply with GDPR?

These are the basics you need to do to comply with the GDPR:

  • Make sure you have a cookies pop up
  • Ensure your site is https secure (not just http)
  • Put a privacy policy on your blog
  • Ensure your “sign up for email updates/newsletter” form is GDPR-compliant
  • Contact everyone on your email database – inform them of the changes and ask them to update their preferences

(Now before anyone tries to catch me out, I haven’t yet done these things yet – this is my big To-Do job this weekend!)

The reason why all bloggers need to contact their subscribers and ask them for permission to email them again is because all bloggers should have activated their “sign up by email” options for readers. If you haven’t done this, you’re squandering a lot of blog traffic – a mailing list is the main way you should be collecting followers.

Rather than writing a long post all about how you should be doing these things, I thought I’d link to articles and blog posts that others have written. As they’ve gone to the trouble of writing it all so thoroughly they really should get the credit, not me…!

 

Further reading

The Blogger’s Guide to GDPR
Making sense in a post-GDPR blog space
The GDPR / Data Privacy Changes & What You Need To Do As A Blogger Before May 25th
About the General Data Protection Regulation

Hope all this helps… good luck!

ARE YOU GDPR READY YET? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS HOW YOU’VE BEEN GETTING ON!

Catherine

LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ…

The Facebook & Instagram Privacy Changes Mean Blogs Aren’t Dead
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The GDPR and How It Affects ALL Bloggers | Not Dressed As Lamb

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25 Comments

  1. May 21, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Thank you, you made me actually go look and see if WordPress had a Cookie Widget and they do and I now have it. I never thought about that one.

  2. May 21, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    Thank you Catherine for always keeping us informed. Truly, I’ve learned alot more than just style from your blog!!

  3. May 20, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Catherine. I must check this out. I have no idea what this GPS/GDPR is because I live in the States. However I have a great many readers to my blog from the UK and Australia and the EU and I do not want to lose my girls. I’m looking into this.

    OH! AND BTW! I TRIED TO COPY YOUR SIDEBAR INTO MY BLOG. And I’m on WordPress. I couldn’t do it. Can you give me more specific instructions? Please? Pretty please???? I love you. I do! But I need help!

    • catherine
      Author
      May 21, 2018 / 10:21 am

      Hi Cathe – I’m not sure what you mean by copy my sidebar into your blog… I just can’t work out what you mean, so sorry! (??)

  4. May 20, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the info! I just added a privacy policy and cookie pop up last night, but I still want to do some more research.

  5. May 20, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Hi Catherine. There’s a new feature on the latest update of WordPress that lets you update or create a privacy policy automatically.
    For WordPress Bloggers, go to Setting > Privacy > and you can create or update your existing policy page.
    Just seen it now and thought it was really useful for people. Hope it ok.

    xx

  6. May 20, 2018 / 8:44 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this info, I’ve been a little oblivious lately and have been seeing those messages and #deletedeletedelete . Now I know to address it before the Interwebz Police come and haul me away.

    Ha, that sounded sort of sarcastic to my ear, but is not. I’m truly appreciative of the helpful info you share.

    Bettye

  7. May 20, 2018 / 5:48 am

    Thanks for sharing the info about how to get around this Catherine.
    Laurie xx

  8. May 20, 2018 / 1:46 am

    I’m fully aware how lucky I am to have you on speed dial for all this info Catherine. I’m always so pleased to see the benefit of your knowledge being spread to a wider audience, especially this particular subject. What a muddle it was initially? Although I’m happy the law has come into place, it was a tad tricky to decipher at first wasn’t it? It’ll be done & dusted soon though & we’ll forget all about that. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop babe 😉 xxx

  9. May 20, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Thanks for information and thanks for hosting. I hope that you are having an amazing weekend.

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:22 am

      Thanks Patrick 🙂

  10. May 19, 2018 / 11:18 pm

    Thanks,Catherine. I do very little on my blog so I’m hoping none of this will apply to me when I read it, but read it I will. Thanks and hugs, x.

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:22 am

      Mary it applies to EVERYONE. Unless you block people in the EU from accessing your blog it applies to you…!

      I’ve just checked and you have the follow by email option in your sidebar – you have to do ALL the things I listed I’m afraid!

      • May 21, 2018 / 9:13 am

        Oh thanks so much, Catherine. Because I can’t access the email information I thought I was excluded. I’m going to be out of my depth on this one – maybe this is the time to walk away from blogging …! X.

        • catherine
          Author
          May 21, 2018 / 10:24 am

          Mary yours is a Feedburner feed – if you follow the link that’s in the blog post I referenced here “5 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic You Didn’t Know You Were Squandering” (do an f5 search and type in “feedburner”) you’ll be able to get hold of your list x

  11. May 19, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    Very helpful article! I’m lucky I don’t collect any data.

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:20 am

      Martina you do collect data – everyone does!!!!!!!!!

      This applies to EVERYONE – you may not think you’re not collecting data but you are. You have to have a privacy policy, you collect cookies so need to inform readers about that, and if you’re not giving readers the option to subscribe by email – WHY aren’t you?! As I mentioned you’re missing out on a huge amount of traffic, lots of readers prefer to read blogs that way (I do, and if I can’t subscribe by email I can’t/don’t follow people)…! You also collect data in comments: emails, IP addresses, etc. The list goes on and on. EVERYONE collects a huge amount of data – just because you don’t physically do it yourself doesn’t mean your site isn’t collecting it!

  12. May 19, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    This is all such great info, Catherine. You really are a treasure trove of blogger information. I’m so grateful to have you! xx

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:16 am

      No worries, Lisa – it’s an accumulation of the info I’ve found everywhere! x

  13. May 19, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    Thanks, Catherine. I’ve been reading how this applies to bloggers, ungraded to https… and the rest is on my to-do list this week. Thanks for the links and the info.

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:16 am

      So glad you’ve found it useful, Sue! x

      • May 20, 2018 / 2:50 am

        Hi again,
        I can’t believe how much time this whole thing has eaten up. Partly because I’m a bit anal and I’ve been reading articles to get a handle on the whole think. And I’ve tried two sites to generate a privacy policy. The iuenda site that I found by following a link on one of the articles you shared looks to be the most comprehensive, but darned if I can figure out which options to click. My blog uses Feedburner for e-mail subscriptions which isn’t even in their list etc etc. What are you using to generate a Privacy policy, Catherine, or do you already have one?

  14. May 19, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Thank you! Catherine for the info and links! Your grace and community spirit are a blessing…

    • catherine
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 12:15 am

      Pleasure, Liz! x

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