Taking Care of the Tech

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How to own GDPR for your podcast!

It’s time we had the talk. Well, not that kind of talk… but we do need to speak about the elephant in the room. And that’s GDPR!

I know what you’re thinking – “But I’m just a humble podcaster… surely GDPR doesn’t affect me?” Well, you’re wrong (sorry).

GDPR affects everyone who handles other peoples’ data so if you have a website or an email list it’s super important that you listen up & listen fast!

The new General Data Protection Regulations state that consent must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” – it’s all about giving people power over who has their data, how it is used and that it is stored securely.

But, let’s be real, it’s about as interesting as watching paint dry.

The good news is, we have sifted through the masses of information on the topic to come up with a bitesize blog on the actionable changes you need to make for your podcast’s website and email lists. Enjoy!

Email marketing

  • You can no longer pre-tick the opt-in box for people to receive marketing communications. Consent boxes that are pre-ticked are classed as consent not being freely given. They must be blank for people to decide themselves.
  • You can’t bury your consent form within your terms and conditions, privacy policy or any other form on your website. It must be clear, easy to understand and displayed in a way that’s not misleading.
  • You must make it easy for people to withdraw their consent. At the bottom of every email you send, there must be the option to unsubscribe. Similarly, you cannot charge a fee, ask for any information other than their email address, or ask them to visit more than one page to submit their unsubscribe request. These are best practice principles for email marketing that we’re sure you follow already, but it’s worth examining your current approach just to make sure that you are fully compliant.
  • You need to keep a record of consent. Who consented, when, what they were told at the time, how they consented (i.e through your website, Facebook form, etc) and if they have withdrawn consent. Your email marketing platform should be able to keep a record of this on your behalf but it is still both of your responsibilities to maintain.
  • Finally, you need to evaluate what you do already when it comes to the above and what needs to change. The new regulations don’t just apply to data collected after May 25th 2018 – they apply to all existing EU subscribers.

Your website

  • Every request for personal data must now come with an opt-in so that people can consent.
  • You don’t need to add GDPR checkboxes to every form on your website, they are completely optional. But you do have to have to clearly communicate how you will process the personal data – whether you chose a tick-box or a few sentences is entirely up to you.
  • Any requests for personal data have to explicitly state how the data will be used, how it will be stored and for how long.
  • You may need to update your privacy policy to become GDPR compliant. This includes explicitly talking about the collection, transmission and storage of personal data. You must also include a declaration of any third-party tracking software that you use.
  • You will need to ask visitors to your website to opt-in to cookies being stored about their browsing history alongside a link to your privacy policy.
  • Ensure that consent to your terms and conditions is separate to other policies
  • Audit the data you already have (you may need to update your privacy policy) and gather fresh consent for any that is non-compliant.

It’s super important that you make these changes, else you could face a fine. And no one wants to make the government like this…

If you want to learn more about each of these points in detail, this handy guide by the Information Commissioner’s Office for small organisations goes through these points in more detail and has tonnes of helpful resources.

If you’re a Podcast Success Academy member (free with Podcast Websites) then you also have access to a handy “How to own GDPR checklist”!

Need a Privacy Policy?

We recommend Iubenda for all of your website legal policies. You can even get a 10% discount for being a Podcast Websites member!

What about cookie consent?

As always, we’ve got your back when it comes to GDPR and we have got cookie consent built in – we are launching a brand new Podcast Websites feature to cover this for you on Friday 8th June!

Ready to monetize your audience & become an audio influencer?

Podcasters all across the world are transforming from simply producing audio to becoming a monetised, influential brand with Podcast Websites. When you're ready to become an audio influencer in your niche, we're here for you.

Hannah McCreesh

Hannah is Head of Content and Partnerships at Podcast Websites. She loves a good coffee, runs a lifestyle blog and is the owner of a very feisty, fluffy cat called Frankie!

Ready to monetize your audience & become an audio influencer?

Podcasters all across the world are transforming from simply producing audio to becoming a monetised, influential brand with Podcast Websites. When you're ready to become an audio influencer in your niche, we're here for you.