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Friday is the last day for companies to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation. Theofilos Vasileiadis CEO & Co-Founder of Socital talks about how the GDPR will affect companies.

Q: The 25th of May marks the commencement of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the EU. What will be different since GDPR becomes effective?

The launch of GDPR forces every company that collects personal data to review this process and take it way more seriously. While it is clear that a lot of nuances of the way the Regulators will interpret the Law are yet to be determined, there is no question that every major company has to put GDPR compliance at the heart of their data strategy immediately.

The new regulation will force companies with even a single client in the EU to stop practices like scraping data or buying databases of potential clients in bulk, making the data collection process a funnel that will be controlled more by the end user than today, where we all end up being targeted by businesses which we never engaged with and therefor never authorize to promote their content to us.

Q: What are the major actions that GDPR eligible companies have to proceed with?

There are two main categories of companies who are affected: a. Data owners/controllers and B. Data Processors. The first relates practically to every commercial entity which collects personal data for their clients (both online and physically) and the later to any business which process or analyze personal data on behalf of others (but not directly communicate with these people). Obviously, the obligations for the first are much tighter, however both have to be able to support some basic functions/flows such as data transparency, right of the customer to “be forgotten” and clear log of the consent process.

Q: Will the e-commerce ecosystem be affected by GDPR and if yes, how?

Significantly, as I expect e-shops to be more focused on getting clear consent from their visitors for using their data for advertising. I anticipate most e-shops to limit spamming and even run re-permission campaigns to make sure that their existing databases are GDPR compliant.

In the mid and long term, I believe that this process will lead to more personalized content, which eventually will lead to our inbox getting de-clatered and less destructing for the user.

Q: Socital has clients around the world with offices in UK and Dubai, as well your development center in Greece. Do you see differences at the level of preparation for GDPR in each market?

It’s important to note that GDPR is applicable to any company having clients from the EU and not only to EU-based businesses. However, we do see significantly faster adaptation in the UK market, where most major e-shops have already in place procedures to be GDPR compliant. Greece and UAE, while still behind in implementation of data policies, show signs of catching up fast and I believe through the next couple of months the market will be mostly adjusted.

Q: Socital, through its platform supports clients for a more personalized e-commerce experience. With the new regulation in place, how will Socital be affected?

We operate at the forefront of technologies which support GDPR focused clients. Our tools help e-shops collect data in a clearly defined and well-structured way, as all the incoming data flow through a user consent process. Also, our platform supports absolute client data “erase” capabilities, and of course uses the strictest security protocols and systems available in the market, such as advanced data encryption.

Q: You are one of the fastest growing businesses in the marketing automation industry, what can we expect from Socital in the near future?

Our focus is to create further personalization tools, which support flows that can bring personalization to the level of the individual. We aspire to help clients serving the right product to the right customer, minimizing noise for their users and ultimately growing their sales.

Our new algorithms combine behavioral and commercial data with brand affiliations, interests and basic demographics, in order to automatically produce advanced product/user matching.

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