Prepare your website for GDPR

by | May 21, 2018 | News, Web

What is GDPR?

New regulations concerning data protection are coming into force in May this year with massive penalties for non-compliance.

On Friday, 25th May 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will come into effect. As GDPR is mainly a legal matter, we’d highly recommend speaking to your solicitors regarding the changes. Whilst GDPR’s reach is far wider than your website alone, here are some of the key points that may affect your website and the possible solutions.

Privacy Policies

If you do not currently have a Privacy Policy on your website, we would recommend adding one reflecting GDPR. If you do have one, the content of this and your procedures will need to be revisited to reflect the changes GDPR brings.

The very short version from a website design point-of-view is that you will need to inform users of what information your website collects, what it is used for, where it is stored and how long for. You will need to check what other information from a legal-point-of-view you need in your privacy policy but I know you also need to inform users how they can access the information you have on them and have a procedure in place in the event of a breach.

Examples of how websites can collect data include use of; Google Analytics, Contact Forms, E-Commerce, Newsletter Sign-Ups etc.

Another important note is that you can no longer have automatic opt-ins for newsletters, there must be explicit consent to join. If you have a pre-existing list that you cannot prove gave you this consent, you may need to ask them before the GDPR date to confirm they wish to opt-in, or after this date you cannot email them.

Some information collected is not collected in the form of data inputted, but in cookies. We’ve detailed one way of finding which ones your website used below.

Checking Cookies

In order to check which cookies your website uses, you can use Developer Tools on browsers such as Google Chrome.

If you’re using Windows and Google Chrome – press Ctrl + Shift + I to turn on Developer Tools

When Developer Tools is open, click the Application tab then on the left Cookies and under that your website address.

A list of all cookies on that page will be generated. It’s important to go on all pages of your website as some pages may have different features, using different cookies. If you have a login section on your website that customers can access, you will need to remember to analyse these pages and the My Account pages etc.

How we can help with GDPR

As the GDPR date draws nearer, we’re getting more emails from clients asking about us making their website compliant. The difficulty we have is that as every website is bespoke, there is no blanket response we can give or one document we can send out. We can not advise on any legal matters and so the only service we can provide with GDPR is manually auditing your website on your behalf and providing any information you may need for your own privacy policy.

If you do not currently have a maintenance plan we have to bill on an hourly basis for this or if you do have a maintenance plan, we will work up until your allocated hours and then bill thereafter. Using the Cookie Tool above you should be able to access all the information you need yourself so us helping you with GDPR is not at all mandatory and just an additional service we offer.

We can also check the compliance of all plugins associated with your website, though some of the larger ones are still working out GDPR themselves and we may have to wait a while for official information from them. Any plugins that are no longer compliant may need to be revisited.

If you already have a privacy policy on your website you can obviously update this yourself using your logins. If you need to create a privacy policy, you should be able to add a page yourself and then link somewhere on your website. If you need this linked in the footer or somewhere that it will need to be coded or wish for us to add the privacy policy for you, please contact us.

Website Tips & Advice from Cornwall Design and Print

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