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April 19, 2018

Americas: Client–DMC Conversations in the GDPR Age

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As the May 25 enforcement deadline for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation creeps closer, the implications for how companies acquire, use, and retain personally identifiable information for citizens and legal residents of the EU are coming into focus in all segments of the meetings industry. For organizations that share attendee data with their destination management companies, there are new responsibilities and risks. We spoke with Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global, about her efforts to drive GDPR compliance and her guidance on the kinds of conversations clients and DMCs need to have in the GDPR age. 

MeetingsNet: What’s at stake for those in our industry surrounding GDPR enforcement?  
Marty MacKay: So many aspects of our people-focused business require collecting and sharing personal data. Just think of all the guest information included in airport manifests, tour registrations, restaurant reservations, recreation safety waivers, etc. All of this and more will be impacted by GDPR’s requirements to obtain specific consent from individuals regarding how their data will be collected, managed, and stored or deleted. Half-measures at data control won’t cut it. Fines for GDPR compliance failures can be as high as 4 percent of global annual corporate revenue or 20 million Euros—whichever is greater. Who wants to risk that?

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