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Attention, retailers. There’s a new border battle on the way. When the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force on 25th May 2018, retailers are at risk of losing access to a lot of personal data they take for granted today.

However, smart retailers who get to grips with their technology and data, could beat the competition by offering consumers a kind of data identification passport for them to use as they shop around, online or offline.

Red flag: changes to the data protection laws

The GDPR takes a lot of power away from businesses and gives it back to the consumer, completely upending most, if not all, current retail models. Consumers will now be able to:

  • Stop their data being collected and used by the retailer and partners
  • Edit, extract, transfer and delete data already held by the retailer

So, if retailers want consumers to trust them with their data, they’ll have to prove they’re worthy of guarding this increasingly precious commodity.

The personal data passport to the world

In much the same way as people use a passport for identification as we move from country to country, so will a personal data identification passport allow consumers to move from shop to shop.

The current options of signing into websites via Facebook or LinkedIn goes some way down this avenue, and they collect personal data as you go. Again, come 25th May, the consumer can ask for this data to be deleted.

So how would this data identification passport work? The retailer will be able to port personal data to other retailers or third parties only when needed – such as for an online purchase – and then remove it once the transaction is complete. They will become their customers’ trusted gatekeeper and data controller, operating a bit like the Amazon buy button on non-Amazon websites.

Amazon retains personal payment and home delivery data and the retailer merely ships the products or provides the services to the consumer. The retailer has no access to the payment method and is unable to retain any personal data.

New opportunities for promotions through bulk buys

The personal data passport could also allow the data controller to aggregate groups of consumers with similar interests to offer them the benefit of bulk buy deals. For example, if multiple unrelated families are looking to book a ski chalet at peak time, and a ski company has a large chalet they need to fill, they can assign the families to the one chalet. It’s a winner: the ski company gets to fill the chalet and the families benefit from a bulk discount.

GDPR training for retailers

To help businesses prepare for the GDPR, Me Learning offers online training courses endorsed by Clayden Law, specialist data privacy lawyers. To find out what’s best for your business, click here.

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