When exploring any new legislation, the question too often turns to whether business can curb its burdens rather than reap its benefits. From advanced customer databases to Learning Management Systems, just as the opportunity to enhance the consumer experience has matured through new technologies- so too has the risk of mishandling user data.
However, in taking a closer look at the implications of GDPR, this new legislation appears to not only hold businesses to higher standards when it comes to user privacy; but may also incentivise an improved quality of current providers.
With the introduction of this new legislation, while organisations may no longer be able to innovate in shortcuts and strategies at the expense of user privacy, current platforms with an existing commitment to GDPR-compliant practices may instead be exposed for their longstanding commitment to putting the user first.
Centralised Technology Echoed by Centralised LegislationIn light of both these upcoming changes to the regulatory environment for user data, it appears that efforts to emulate a third-party regulator within the online space have existed for some time.
Echoed in-part by GDPR, blockchain applications are examples of how advanced functionality and ensuring that the user retains full data ownership can coexist to the benefit of both parties.
However, just as issues with blockchain technology such as vendor dependence have continued to divide otherwise enthusiastic users, key management of blockchain technology has remained persistently complex for organisations to implement.
In-spite of the few remaining complexities that overshadow the strong benefits to user privacy that blockchains provide, the use of blockcerts simplifies the process by issuing the blockchain into a common machine-readable format - minimising the complications and making the benefits of blockchain available to the consumer market.
However, for LMS providers seeking to guarantee GDPR compliance, the ability to implement blockcerts validation into content such as courses and profiles means that organisations such as Qintil are preparing to reassure both users and partners in advance.Data Centralised; Innovation Focus ShiftedHowever, in addition to the existing interest among both organisations and consumers to ensure a regulatory presence that ensures true ownership of the data users create, the uniform standards in data management imposed by GDPR may have just as much interest in the innovation of the features it may on the surface appear to limit:
According to one recent report, the benefits of compliance not only extend to the immediate benefits of brand and reputation, but also to ability for organisations to retain the clients they attract: according to a survey conducted on data-dependant organisations, several of which were LMS providers, 76% of surveyed users reported a higher long-term commitment to organisations with clearer data handling procedure .
However, as indicated by organisations that are already GDPR-compliant, the benefits of ensuring any LMS or platform is compliant extends well beyond brand and reputation: to both organisations and consumers, the prospect of a more standardised data handling policy may force many existing platforms to shift their focus from the costs saved through at-times compromising user data, and instead towards innovating their platform functionality .The Conclusion: A Burden of Benefits, or Added Functionality?Overall, whilst it is no secret that introducing new business legislation can be unnerving for any organisation seeking to balance a secure user experience with the value from the data that online users create, the same resources spent by organisations during this transition period to adapt to this new framework may instead be invested by already-compliant organisations to build on an existing strategy of innovating through features first.
Therefore, it appears that the only burden for consumers and businesses such as Qintil that have already made the commitment to ensure compliance in advance is the added functionality of the platform that this continued focus on the user creates.
. Barr, L. (2017). Kickstarting your GDPR readiness program | Janrain.
. Bullivant, R. (2017). GDPR — driving more effective data management and quality.
. Smolenski, N. (2017). The EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Blockchain