The effective date for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is less than a month away (May 25) and organizations are scrambling to build new and auditable privacy and data practices to ensure compliance. There is a great deal of angst about GDPR, but there doesn’t need to be. This is a good thing for organizations and individuals for many reasons.

To understand what GDPR means for organizations, it’s important to understand the overarching goals of GDPR. The goal of this new set of legislation is to “harmonise” and standardize the disparate data privacy laws that have been in effect across Europe. GDPR replaces the existing Data Protection Directive 95/46/ EC. Ultimately, the EU sought to streamline the rules and regulations across countries to better empower and protect their citizens and their citizens’ data, wherever they may be. After GDPR goes into effect marketers will not have to apply different data processing rules in the different EU countries.

Many organizations and their marketing teams are thinking this spells the end of outbound marketing; however, this is not the case. Rather, it is an opportunity to become more transparent with how organizations process and collect data. And while that may spell a new phase for outbound marketing, it hardly signals the end—or even a decline. In fact, by requiring that businesses gain consumers’ explicit consent (as explained in part one of the GDPR blog series) to use their data to market to them, the new legislation will help build more trust between consumers and organizations.

Additionally, GDPR makes data privacy an aspect of organizational design. Here’s how:

Data protection by design and by default (Article 25) says in part, “The controller shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures for ensuring that, by default, only personal data which are necessary for each specific purpose of the processing are processed. That obligation applies to the amount of personal data collected, the extent of their processing, the period of their storage and their accessibility.”

Translation: Data privacy can no longer be an afterthought. Organizations must build privacy into their workflow from the beginning: if they can take measures to limit the scope of personal data that they collect and handle while designing their processes, they will be able to take a more holistic mindset that better serves both the organization and the consumer. This mindset will also help create efficiency in data processing, as organizations will request and process only the data they need, for the period of time that they need it.

As a company that sells personalization software solutions, privacy and data protection legislation and best practices are important. The benefits personalization brings to both consumers and to marketers are significant; however, no amount of data collection is worth offending your buyer or breaking the law. A company that has the trust of its customers to do what is right will have better customer relationships, which will result in a better customer experience.

Use the data you have been granted access to wisely: when you demonstrate care with data, consumer engagement will strengthen in response. Make sure that privacy concerns are addressed early in the development process across the organization to ensure that you are building the best data privacy processes now for compliance. Then, look to enhance them going forward because you should.

GDPR is just the beginning for new data privacy regulations. It does not spell doom and gloom for marketing In. In fact, it establishes best practices for marketing and organizations, and is what will strengthen engagement with buyers too.