GDPR Practical Thoughts 1A Business Card Process

Aimed Business ThoughtsWelcome to a series of practical thoughts on simple business processes affected by GDPR such as business cards exchange.

Today what theorists would call processes related to business card exchange. The rest of us may do this without thinking.

As a starting point we must consider all stages of a process before considering the impact. Often the results of working this through gives real benefits by empowering good behaviours and better business.

The Series Warning

But first the warning that these are my thoughts and you rely on them at your own risk. This is because the precise circumstances will always affect the interpretation and outcome. The best example of this is in the English law of theft. If I put my hand in your pocket intending to steal your wallet, but the pocket is empty, am I guilty of theft as I had both the intent and acted on it? Answer at various points in time yes, and other times no.

For business processes and GDPR, reasonable and lawful intent is paramount. Reasonable here mean what it is logical to believe that most of the population think is reasonable, not just an individual. Lawful is what is permitted by the rules. In this way we can slay many of the myths already building on the impact of GDPR on sensible processes.

Business Cards Exchange Process

When you meet someone for the first time, you often exchange business cards. The reasons you exchange cards include:

  1. Identity check at a low level. He says he’s from Aimed Business, well he has a card so he must be. And the title he gave me is the one on the card, so I’ll assume he is the Director.
  2. Background check on the company. This is often a sub-conscious check and a gut-feel reaction. This might be the branding or even weight of the card, but essentially it is what would be common to all business cards from that organisation such as website address.
  3. Contact details. If I need to call or email him, I have his details accurately so whatever I send will arrive.
  4. Meeting of minds. I want this person to contact me to continue this relationship because we have something in common.
  5. Polite exchange. He’ll think it rude if I don’t give him my card as it’s expected.
  6. Email bombard. Great I have his card I’ll put him on our CRM and email him daily.

Each of these six reasons has different potential impacts from GDPR which I’ll post next week. In the interim have a think what they might be. One of the positive benefits of GDPR is to make us think about how we do business and balance this with the way we would wish to be treated as individuals.