I have to admit it, the new EU privacy law filled my inbox, and probably yours, with GDPR updates from hundreds of companies around the globe. During the last week, there was only time for emails, major discussions on forums and communities, plugin updates, and improvements.

What is GDPR?

In a nutshell, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law created within the EU, for people within the EU to help them protect their data and privacy online.

Wikipedia defines “It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU”.

It continues “Personal data may not be processed unless it is done under a lawful basis specified by the regulation, or the data controller or processor has received explicit, opt-in consent from the data’s owner—which may be withdrawn at any time”.

“A processor of personal data must disclose what data is being collected and how, why it is being processed, how long it is being retained, and if it is being shared with any other parties. Users have the right to request a portable copy of the data collected by a processor in a common format, and the right to have their data erased under certain circumstances”.

It’s about how companies handle personal data, why they collect it, and how long they retain it, and on what ground they process it. It’s about companies providing visitors with mechanisms to delete personal data from within their platforms or to have their date sent to their inbox.

 

And although the GDPR regulation is about EU citizens, it’s a regulation that the majority of websites will apply for all their visitors. I agree that adopting these regulations for the entirety of our websites is the most efficient approach.

 

More information on the GDPR law can be found here.

 

gdpr

WMS GDPR Compliance and Updates

What GDPR means for Web Market Support?

It means a lot, and during the last weeks, I was mostly working in this direction. At WebMarketSupport, we believe in putting the customer experience above all else and we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of all visitors to our website.

With that in mind, we’ve made recently some updates to our Privacy Policy to make it easier for you to understand what information we collect, why we collect it, and how we use it.

  • We’ve updated the Privacy Policy to comply with the new requirements under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on May 25, 2018.
  • We’ve updated the Cookie Policy to make it easier to review alongside our use of cookies and other technologies.
  • We’ve improved the way we describe our practices and explain how you can make choices about your information and the measures we’ve put in place to keep your information secure.

And here are the related updates:

A Brand New Privacy Policy

 

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context.
Here’s a summary of what’s included:

  • What personal information we collect from the people visiting our website, blog, or apps
  • When we collect information
  • How we use this information
  • What data we collect about you, for what purpose, and on what ground we process it.
  • How we protect your information
  • The use of cookies
  • Third parties (3rd party disclosure, 3rd party links, embedded content from other websites)
  • Website comments
  • Google (Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google display network, DoubleClick)
  • California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
  • Do Not Track Signals
  • Third-party behavioral tracking
  • Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  • Fair information practices
  • CAN-SPAM Act
  • Mailing lists (mailing providers)
  • Contact forms
  • How long we retain your data
  • Access to your personal information
  • Your Consent
I encourage you to read carefully the new privacy policy in order to understand how your information is being used.

A New Cookie Policy

Until now, the Cookie Policy was part of the Privacy Policy. But in order to make it even more transparent and to provide as many details as possible, I decided to create a new dedicated page regarding ‘Cookies’.

As is common practice with almost all professional websites this site uses cookies, which are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer, to improve your experience. The ‘Cookie Policy’ page describes what information they gather, how we use it and why we sometimes need to store these cookies. We also share how you can prevent these cookies from being stored however this may downgrade or ‘break’ certain elements of the site’s functionality.

Here’s a summary of what’s included:

  • What are cookies
  • How we use cookies
  • Disabling cookies
  • The cookies we set (account related, login related, email newsletters, order processing, surveys related, forms related, site preference)
  • Third-party cookies (Google Analytics, new features, products, advertising networks, affiliate tracking, social media buttons)

 

Terms & Conditions

This is another brand new page that did not exist so far. Although the page is not yet complete, here’s a summary of what’s included:

 

  • Cookies
  • License
  • User comments
  • Hyperlinking to our content
  • Iframes
  • Reservation of Rights
  • Removal of links from our website
  • Content Liability
  • Disclaimer

There is still work to be done!

Disclaimer

I updated the Disclaimer page in order to reflect all my online activity and my relationships with networks, forums, communities, and companies. Here’s a summary of what’s included:

  • Affiliate disclosure
  • Affiliate links
  • Referral programs
  • Sponsored content
  • Reviews
  • Lists/guides
  • Advertising
  • Final Notice

As long as I continue working online I will be updating all the legal pages as required to reflect any changes.

Other Updates

Contact Forms

I’ve updated a few contact forms with 2 checkboxes placed at the bottom of the forms, in order for you to consent before submitting your data.

It’s entitled WMS Agreement, and it requires that you read and accept the privacy policy and the terms of use before you submit your information. The checkbox area links to these pages and by default the boxes are unchecked.

Although I think it was unnecessary to apply these changes in the official contact page, I’ve updated this page as well. Here’s a screenshot:

contact-page
I continue on updating all the existing contact forms with the WMS Agreement checkboxes.

Email Optin Forms

I did not add the WMS Agreement checkboxes on the DBR (Digital Business Roadmap Training) email opt-in forms but I decided to update the ‘DBR Thank you’ page. All the DBR opt-in forms redirect to this ‘Thank You’ page where I inform visitors how to proceed in order to create a Free account and get access to the Free training.

Along with the registration instructions, I inform all visitors that by becoming a Free WMS member:

  • You get access to the DBR Training and exclusive access to all future digital downloads/educational material
  • You signup for the WMS email newsletter and updates
  • You can optionally participate in contests, quizzes, polls, mini-surveys, and similar website activities to help improve the training area and your experience

At the bottom of the page, I placed the WMS Agreement checkboxes as I did with the contact forms.

That means, anyone that wants to get access to the training, knows about the WMS Agreement and consents to proceed.

For that reason, I will keep all the contact forms inside the DBR training area untouched. I won’t add the WMS Agreement checkboxes to the questionnaires, quizzes, polls, and contact forms in the members’ area. Because before you get access to the members’ area you’ve already given your consent to the use of your personal information.

Mailing Lists

I added a double opt-in confirmation to my mailing lists. That means, when you register and become a WMS member you’ll receive an email to confirm your subscription. This step adds another layer of security for you.

I will continue on testing the new feature during the next days.

WordPress Plugins

GDPR Cookie Consent: I added another button to the cookie plugin, it’s the Reject button. Now anyone that visits WMS has 3 options: to accept the cookies, can opt-out of the cookies and read more information. Additionally, I linked the Privacy Policy page to the ‘Read More’ button. This step makes the WMS website even more transparent.

cookie-plugin
WP GDPR Compliance: I added this WordPress plugin after a few discussions with some partners and marketers. This plugin assists website and webshop owners to comply with the latest European privacy regulations.

It adds a checkbox to all the website comments and to a few supported contact forms (like Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, WooCommerce). Now, you have to give your consent before you submit your comment. This is the message that is displayed:

“By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website”.

comments-area
The plugin adds a new page to the website, the ‘Data Access Request’. This feature allows visitors to request their data stored in the WordPress database (comments, WooCommerce orders etc.). Data found is sent to their email address and allows them to put in an additional request to have the data anonymised.

This plugin is under development and new features will be added in the near future. I will update this page with new information as required.

WordPress Updates

The developers of the WordPress platform added 2 new features and every WordPress website can now:

Export Personal Data: a user/visitor may contact us via the contact page to have their data sent to their email address.

Erase Personal Data: a user/visitor may contact us via the contact page to have their data erased from our database.

Furthermore, the developers added a Privacy Policy page link to the main registration page. This adds another layer of transparency to WordPress websites.

They also published a guide to help WordPress users create their own Privacy Policy pages.

Elegant Themes

I wanna thank the Elegant Themes team as they worked towards the EU regulation direction during the last weeks. Now I can add links to the WMS Agreement checkboxes on the contact forms, on the Divi email opt-in forms. and on the Bloom plugin email opt-in forms.

Final Words

Still, there is work to be done in order to fully comply with the GDPR law, but I believe, this is a good start.

I will be working on the Live Chat settings, the mailing lists, and I will add WMS Agreement checkboxes on the contact forms. I will be updating the Terms & Conditions page with new information and I will be updating this page as well.

Refer to this page as the WMS GDPR Guide.

 

 

I am welcoming your comments and thoughts, your suggestions and opinion as always. My priority is always you, the WMS visitors. I wanna thank you for your trust. Till next time…

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