GDPR, Business and Social Media

GDPR, Business and Social Media

In today’s digital world, social media has become an essential part of our daily lives, with millions of people using various platforms to connect with friends, family, and businesses. Social media platforms have revolutionised how people engage with each other and how businesses connect with their customers. However, concerns about data privacy have emerged with the growing use of personal data for advertising purposes. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in 2018, significantly impacting how businesses use social media for marketing and advertising. This blog post discusses the impact of the regulations on business and social media.

Myths about GDPR and PECR

There are several myths that small businesses may have about social media, GDPR, and PECR. Here are five of them:

  1. People are communicating on social media so that I can contact them.
  2. GDPR and PECR only apply to large businesses, not small ones.
  3. Obtaining explicit consent for data collection is too difficult and time-consuming.
  4. Compliance with GDPR and PECR will harm my business’s marketing efforts.
  5. GDPR and PECR are just another government bureaucracy that doesn’t benefit consumers.

In reality, these myths are not accurate. People may be on social media, but businesses must know regulations like GDPR and PECR to avoid hefty fines. These regulations apply to all businesses, regardless of size. Obtaining explicit consent may require a little effort to set it up, but ensuring compliance and building trust with customers is necessary. Compliance with GDPR and PECR can improve marketing efforts by building customer trust. Finally, GDPR and PECR protect individuals’ rights and information. It is their data. Just because they may give it to you or put something on social media does not mean you can use it.


While most people have heard of GDPR and data protection, PECR is its lesser-known cousin. GDPR has been established to guarantee transparency in businesses’ use of personal data. Hence, businesses must have a legitimate reason for processing personal data, gather only essential data, and use the data fairly and transparently. Such regulations considerably impact firms that depend on social media for their marketing and advertising activities. Companies must obtain explicit consent from individuals to use their data for marketing objectives. For this, businesses must be upfront about the data they are collecting, its intended use, and with whom it will be shared. This also means you can not collect data for one purpose and automatically transfer it to another without permission.

PECR stands for the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. These regulations work with GDPR to protect individuals’ privacy rights regarding electronic communications. Essentially, PECR regulates how businesses can use electronic communications to market their products or services. This means that businesses must obtain consent before sending marketing emails or text messages to individuals. Small businesses must understand PECR, as non-compliance can result in significant fines. By following PECR regulations, small businesses can build trust with their customers and ensure they operate ethically and responsibly.

The Impact on Social Media Advertising

Implementing GDPR and PECR has changed how businesses use social media advertising. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X rely on personal data to personalise advertising to specific audiences. This means that businesses must be transparent about how they use personal data for advertising and allow individuals to consent to targeted advertising AND have the opportunity to opt out at any time. Consequently, businesses are shifting towards more generalised advertising on social media platforms as they face challenges in targeting specific audiences.

PECR and GDPR protect individuals’ privacy rights concerning electronic communications and ensure transparency in businesses’ use of personal data. By following these regulations, businesses can build trust with their customers and operate ethically and responsibly. These laws emphasise the significance of data privacy and make businesses responsible for using personal data. In the future, businesses are expected to continue using social media for marketing and advertising but must comply with GDPR and be open about handling personal data.

When implementing explicit consent for GDPR and PECR, businesses must provide individuals with a clear option to explicitly consent to targeted advertising. During data collection, this can be done through a pop-up message or a checkbox. Businesses must also ensure that their privacy policy is current and clearly explains how personal data is collected, used, and shared. By implementing explicit consent, businesses can build customer trust and ensure compliance with GDPR and PECR regulations.

The Future of Business and Social Media

The implementation of GDPR and PECR laws has emphasised the significance of data privacy and has made businesses responsible for using personal data. As a result, there has been a move towards more honest and ethical business practices. In the future, it is expected that businesses will still use social media for marketing and advertising. Still, they must follow GDPR and be open about handling personal data. This will establish trust with consumers and prevent businesses from facing substantial penalties for non-compliance.


To sum up, implementing GDPR and PECR has dramatically affected how businesses utilise social media for marketing and advertising. Businesses must adhere to GDPR and be upfront about how they handle personal data. This helps to establish trust with customers and prevents businesses from facing severe penalties for non-compliance. Businesses must prioritise data privacy and ethical practices as our society becomes more data-focused. By doing so, businesses can build a positive reputation and ensure a long-lasting relationship with their customers.

We believe in supporting businesses to understand data protection and embed it into regular practice. To learn more, check out here, or why not book a free discovery call to see how we can support you?

Privacy Management – What is all the fuss about?

Privacy Management – What is all the fuss about?

Privacy management can be a contentious issue. Isn’t it the business’s data when I have it? The data is out there, so why can’t I use it? Why should businesses care about the management of data and privacy?


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, has one of the earliest statements towards the right to an individual’s privacy.

That was over 70 years ago, and the rights of an individual, in relation to privacy, are still being defined and redefined; 1973 and the first Data Act, in Sweden. The 1998 Data Protection Act in the UK and then, subsequently, the 2018 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), led to countries around Europe updating their own data protection laws.

Businesses have adapted and changed in 70 years, especially with the advancement and speed in technology. Hence the changes and updates in legislation, especially in relation to information sharing.

Privacy conflict

Businesses need data to run their businesses. Ideally, many businesses would say, they need to gather information to contact prospective clients and use that data as they want within their business. Look at the big tech companies, like Meta, Google and Amazon, who rely on the collection and ‘reusing/distributing’ of data as a fundamental cornerstone of their business. The selling of data can be a considerable income stream.

It is no wonder that businesses, no matter how big or small, have difficulties with privacy; especially when you have to balance the needs of the business with the needs of the individual. The individual has rights!

And there is the conflict. Many businesses argue either the information is out there or that the person has given it to them, so why can’t I use it the way they want to?

Good data management is good for business. Having everything in place can mean that things run smoother, and ore importantly, it can help reduce costs (especially in relation to software).

Who’s data is it?

GDPR set out to clarify the importance of privacy and data security. More importantly, it determines who the owner of the data is. The individual owns the data, and not the business. Businesses are, in effect, custodians of the information held by a living person. As a result, they have to follow the principles of the regulations.

  • Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality
  • Accountability

In short, that means that businesses need to

  1. Identify the legal reason for collecting and storing the information AND have a way of informing the individuals.
  2. Ensure individuals’ rights are protected and acted upon.
  3. Only use the information for the purpose it was collected. This means we can not collect information and then use it for whatever reason we want, regardless of it being in the public domain.
  4. Only collect and store the bare minimum we need for the minimum amount of time we need to store it
  5. Ensure that the information we keep is accurate and if not correct it
  6. Ensure that the data is not lost or destroyed
  7. Being able to show compliance with the legislation.

Managing privacy

Saying we are data protection compliant is not enough. Businesses need to prove it. Some key areas to look at are

  1. Know your data
    • Map out what data you collect, save and keep; for what reason, and where it is.
  2. Only use it for the purpose collected
    • One example of this is, networking contacts can not be added to your email marketing or send sales emails. They consented for you to have their details; they did not consent for you to add them to your email marketing
  3. Keep it up-to-date and accurate
    • Account status, contact information, and payment history.
  4. Assess, review, and update
    • Assess what documentation you have and need
    • Review for updates and changes in practice
    • Look at trends in data security
  5. Secure it
    • Ensure that physical material is locked away securely
    • Ensure digital devices are secure and backed-up
  6. Training
    • Train your staff on what is data protection, and IT security
    • Have policies and processes in place, so they know what to do
  7. Keep records
    • log incidents and lessons learned
    • keep records of equipment, software
    • risk assessments and DPIAs

Sounds complicated?

It doesn’t need to be complicated. Help is at hand. As a data protection specialist, I am here to support and assist with your data protection woes. Why not get in touch?

Is Your GDPR Up To Scratch?

Is Your GDPR Up To Scratch?

Data Protection is not something new. It goes back to 1948 and The Universal Declaration of Humans Rights. It has come a long way since then, most notably with GDPR. These were agreed upon by the European Union back in April of 2016 and came into force in May 2018. In the UK, GDPR was enshrined in the Data Protection Act 2018.

Knowing exactly what GDPR is all about, why we need to do so, and why it is important are all a big deal because if things go wrong just once, it’s already too late…

What is GDPR?

Basically, it is the umbrella term for the set of legal requirements that govern how we handle people’s information. That information might be personal information such as cookies, names, addresses and other contact details. It might be sensitive information, such as ethnicity, medical history, sexuality or even credit card details. General Data Protection Regulations cover both digital and hard copy information.

Why do we need to understand it?

To put it simply, it’s the law, and we need to understand it to ensure that, (much like every other legal requirement), we know and can demonstrate we are doing things the right way.

For many, Brexit has caused some confusion around the steps they need to take for continued compliance. It’s essential to remember that the Data Protection Act 2018 encompasses GDPR and stretches way beyond the EU borders. If you are UK based and dealing with EU clients or businesses, GDPR is just as important as before.

Post-Brexit, UK data protection laws still incorporate all the key elements of GDPR, meaning that for businesses. The expectations are much the same as before. Understanding the legal requirements and doing things the right way can carry a range of benefits for your business, such as:

  • Protection from cybersecurity threats, data theft, fraud and breaches
  • Proof of the lawful, fair and transparent way you do business
  • The best image for your brand and the ability to do business with a wider range of partners

Why is it important?

Integrity and confidentiality are vital for data security. Having the measures in place that prove good physical and technological security levels go a long way towards demonstrating compliance. It can also foster a positive and forward-thinking culture that can drive your business forwards.

Good data compliance can also drive efficiency. It prevents organisations from effectively hoarding more data than they need by ensuring they collect only relevant information for its intended purpose.

Businesses  can also demonstrate the provision of the legal rights for employees, clients and individuals (data subjects) concerning:

  • An individuals rights to be kept informed about the reasons why their data is held and who it might be shared with
  • Their rights to access the data held about them on request
  • The right to change data if it is wrong or incomplete
  • Their right to be forgotten if there is no good reason for their data’s continued storage
  • The right to restrict data, if it is wrong or has been processed inaccurately
  • The right to opt-out of any automated decision making processes their data might be used for

We can see GDPR hasn’t gone away. In fact, post-Brexit and with so many of us working remotely, in an ever-changing business world these days, it’s become more relevant than ever.

If you have questions or concerns about GDPR compliance, I can help put your mind at ease or work out the answers.

Let’s work together to ensure GDPR compliance in your organisation.