You must have been doing business outside of Europe if you haven’t noticed that European privacy laws are about to change. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is almost in effect. At the end of May, all organizations that handle personal data of European citizens are required to comply with these specific regulations. This impacts organizations significantly.
At WPA we have been GDPR compliant for more than a year. If we look at data regulation in a broader perspective, it has been so since our first release seven years ago.
With all this media attention about the GDPR it is a good moment to tell you why we think it is a great idea to take personal data seriously. But also why we have had privacy as default and by design right from the start, regardless the location of the organizations we serve, inside or outside of Europe.
To understand the attraction of GDPR for European citizens we have to take a look at the larger development. The amount of information gathered about people, and employees are increasing and accelerating. It used to be pretty hard to gather data about people. But that is changing rapidly. This process can’t be stopped, we’re becoming more and more digital. Therefore it matters greatly what legal and social constructs are put in place to govern the use of such data.
As human beings, we tend to be uncomfortable when our data is used today. Because often we don’t know much about who is gathering that data and for which purpose. We have no say in how it is used, and who is accountable for it. The benefits of gathering the data and the information it provides are often unknown or not understood. The relationship between the entities that gather the data and the people whose data is gathered is unbalanced, most of the time. There are the few that know all, while the people, and the teams they form, know often very little. That is why a lot of organizations are focused on gathering data and mainly using it for c-suite reporting. In our opinion, it means you are missing out on opportunities to use the data gathered effectively.
We are different. Because our long-term goal at WPA is to make work better for teams and the organizations in which they operate. We want the people involved in their ‘work’ and the discussion about it, to benefit most. It will make the organization perform better. Therefore it is logical that we have taken the needs regarding privacy serious; being completely transparent about what data we store and how it is used, and how you can modify it. The information ecology we are building allows individuals to share their data safely, so teams of individuals can cooperate to make work better.
WPA is the leading digital platform that creates synergies between Work, People, and Place. We do this with people and for people. In that sense, we are truly social software that collects data for the benefit of the people in a respectful way. We deliver a process and a platform that allows teams to gain insight and knowledge on how to make work better.
The GDPR creates a formal structure for that. That’s good in this day and age where we have become more critical towards employers, brands, and social media platforms. We are happy to have been complying with the GDPR and gladly continue to do so.