How GDPR Would Enhance Website Design and Development?

Aasif Khan
By Aasif Khan | Last Updated on February 26th, 2021 10:53 am | 3-min read
GDPR Would Enhance Website Design and Development - Appy Pie

GDPR is more than mere regulations for the safety and privacy of data. It has a severe impact on the way websites today and in the future will be designed and developed. Since the law came into effect on the 25th of May 2018, it has had an impact on any website which can be accessed by the countries in the EU or are operating in the EU. Whether it is information-based sites like WebMD, Wikipedia etc., ecommerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba etc., or job sites like Jobijoba, myjob etc. they will all have to comply with the GDPR, as long as they operate in one of the EU countries.

Since the implementation of the GDPR, any organization that has a web presence or needs to use the personal data of any EU citizens are subject to these regulations. The underlying objective of this law is to establish transparency among users in context of the ‘ownership’ of their data. It is time that you, as a website owner prepare for GDPR enforcement.

What is GDPR?

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation in EU Law. This regulation was formulated for data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Additionally, it also focuses on the transfer of personal data outside EU or EEA.

Why was GDPR introduced?

As the digital age and era progresses, the concern for privacy and security of data is looming large both, on the users and the business owners. In this environment, GDPR was launched with the intent of increasing the trust of the new age customers. This today is one of the most important tasks when it comes to working on the growth of the website design.

The idea behind GDPR, as claimed by the EU is to afford more power to the users by giving them greater control over their data and on the way their personal information may be used by various businesses.

Implementing GDPR compliant web entities will help you gain the trust of the customers who are using or buying any digital services. In case of lack of transparency, the chances of losing existing and prospective customers are greater for a web entity of any kind.

How to be GDPR compliant?

Though GDPR may seem like a whole lot of trouble for you today, but when you implement it in the right way, you actually stand to gain a lot from it. GDPR website compliance is important and it is equally important to do it well.

  1. Obtaining Consent
    1. Explain
    2. It is of absolute importance that you explain each and everything in as much detail as possible. This means that you must take the effort to explain to the users which data you are collecting, why you are collecting all this personal user data, and what is it that you are going to do with it. Once you ensure that your users have all this information in front of them, they would automatically be attracted to your business and place a certain amount of trust in your site, even before they have signed up.

    3. Maintain Clarity
    4. Any form of uncertainty or vagueness can only bring in harm for an organization. If the users sense any hesitations, ambiguity, or lack of clarity in context of the way their personal data is going to be used, the users might take your intentions to be less than honorary and might decide against you. This is why you would have to make sure that you are open & honest!

    5. Know the Audience
    6. This is especially important in cases where you have a younger audience. In this context, you must either obtain consent from at least one of their parents or simply cancel their consent entirely.

  2. Incorporate Privacy by Design
  3. GDPR needs the endorsement of the privacy by design framework. This methodology of development which needs the highest data protection. Hence, this should in fact be a standard inclusion across all applications.

    Following are some of the points that privacy by design provides, let’s take a look:

    • It is important that you stay proactive, which means that you may be able to forecast any privacy issues before they even reach the user
    • User privacy should be implemented as a default. This essentially means that the user should not have to take any action in order to be offered the security they deserve. You must never assume consent for data sharing
    • It is imperative that privacy be the core function of any product or service and hence, it must be embedded right into the design
    • Privacy by Design framework offers a balance between privacy and security
    • The framework delivers end-to-end protection of user data, which is why it affords the data minimization & data deletion processes
    • As per Privacy by Design framework, the standards that you are using in your website design must not only be visible, but also be transparently verifiable
    • The privacy that you are incorporating must be targeted at the needs of the users. This can be done by making sure that you offer the users several privacy options and hence maximize security for them.

  4. Responsive Design Requirements for GDPR
  5. As GDPR came into implementation, design requirements have become a vital component of a GDPR responsive development workflow. Whenever a developer starts the design process they should take into consideration, the fact that data protection, must be safe by default. It is therefore recommended that you only collect data that is absolutely required.

    In your efforts to building the best possible site, it is not needed that you connect user personal data with other related data sets that you might be storing in a common location. Before you get into aggregating data, you must remove all the personal information.

  6. Offer Access to the Users
  7. It is a good idea to offer appropriate access to the users so that they can delete all their information and data on their own, in case they feel that a certain piece of information is unnecessary or if the discover that any information provided by you is irrelevant or incorrect. Additionally, it is important that you create the backup of all personal data.

  8. Third-Party Partners & Data Deletion
  9. In case you are working with any third parties and are using any of their data or passing on any data to them, then you must ensure that any request for deletion that’s made on both ends is met appropriately. What it means is that in case you delete any data (on request, or otherwise), the data must be deleted on the third-party end as well.

  10. Offer Encryption
  11. Providing encryption is an important part of implementing GDPR and has a strong impact on website design process. It essentially means that the personal data on your website must be encrypted at all times. This also means that it must never be visible to all or any of the users on the website.

Wrapping It Up

If you have been asking the question – do I need GDPR for my website, the answer is yes. You need to make your website GDPR compliant.

It might be a little rough implementing GDPR the first time around but consider the kind of trust you can induce in your existing and current users, once you have managed to implement it properly.

The harshest of critics and strongest of sceptics might even turn into loyal clients and users on your website!

Disclaimer – Please be advised that you must seek legal counsel in order to make your website completely compliant with GDPR

Aasif Khan

Head of SEO at Appy Pie

App Builder

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