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Data protection: Time to get your data in order

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By Gary Banks, senior consultant at GI Insight 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on its way, and like it or not, it’s going to have a real impact on the way the sector operates. 

Put simply – GDPR will prevent fleet operators from using anyone’s data without their permission. By anyone they mean anyone, including customers, drivers and suppliers. 

If you get caught using data without express permission, then you’re liable for a significant fine (up to €20 million – £18.5m – or 4% of turnover). GDPR includes all the data being collected through telematics. 

If the challenges that GDPR pose are (relatively) clear, the route to solving them is less so. No one in the sector wants to face the fine, but few understand where to start. 

The logical place to begin is having complete knowledge of what data you hold. Only once you understand this will you know whether what you’re doing with that data falls within the regulatory guidelines. 

What complicates matters further is that each customer will have many different types of data, from the information driver telematics collects to the bank details you process to do business. All of which falls within GDPR. 

So what can you do? For those of us that work in data collection and insight, we have a term for what you need to create to have a clear picture of your customer’s data – a single customer view (SCV). 

An SCV enables you to have all the data you have on a single customer readily accessible in one place. It’s that simple. Having an SCV will enable you to respond to customer requests for access and deletion of their personal information as well as being able to document what information is held and how sensitive it is for regulatory reporting. An SCV will help you stay in control when GDPR arrives in May 2018.  

The business case for organising your data into an SCV is clear if it prevents you being fined 4% of turnover, but it also enables you to better understand your customers, which will lead to you being better able to meet their needs and, ultimately, doing more business with them.

Avoiding the pitfalls of GDPR starts with getting your data in order.

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