What’s the Deal with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

Discover How the GDPR Applies to Writers Outside the European Union

What’s the Deal with GDPR?

I don’t think anyone fully understands the practical implications of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for the European Union. This post explores the GDPR as it relates to writers. (Reminder: I’m not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice; this is my opinion and understanding.)

As it applies to writers, the GDPR affects us if we have people from the European Union on our mailing list or maybe even if they visit our website.

Some people outside of Europe are choosing to remove all European subscribers from their mailing list, and others are deciding to ignore the law. Both are extreme responses.

As I understand it, the two main things that apply to us as writers are that when someone from the European Union gives us their email address, we must be clear what we will do with it, such as add them to our email newsletter list or send them periodic updates. Second, if they unsubscribe we must remove them immediately and remove all their information from our records, which would include backup files.

Email Marketing Providers Respond to GDPR

Our email marketing providers (MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc.) are making sure their systems comply with this regulation, and they will tell us what changes we need to do on our part to follow this law. This includes updating the wording on our opt-in message and our privacy statement on our website. Our email marketing providers are making sure their systems comply with the GDPR, and they will tell us what changes we need to do on our part to follow this law. Click To Tweet

Note that GDPR also applies to Book Funnel and other providers that gather email addresses for us.

Also, some people (but not me) think we need to provide notice to our website visitors from the European Union if our website uses cookies (most do). And that we must have all people from Europe (and unknown locations) re-subscribe to our mailing list. Sheesh!

A final thought is that some people consider that the GDPR will emerge as a best practice. As such, we should follow it for all our email subscribers and website visitors. I think this has some merit.

To learn more (then you want to know), do an internet search for GDPR.

But the short answer when it comes to GDPR is to do what your email marketing provider recommends.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!