It’s been almost two years since the “great and terrible” GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) regulation came into effect. Yet, many WordPress website owners still do not fulfill all its requirements the way they should.
In fact, complying with GDPR isn’t that tough, especially with a whole bunch of WordPress plugins by your side. Not only do they speed up the process but they also make you feel confident about covering the GDPR bases.
In this article, we discuss a group of ten great WordPress GDPR plugins collected for you so you can stop thinking about the regulation and consequences of non-compliance. And in case you are not very familiar with GDPR in general, we’ve included some additional information.
Personal data relates to any person’s information that helps identify them. In terms of GDPR norms, this includes data provided by a user for a particular web resource (name and surname, gender, email, or phone number), as well as data collected automatically. The last one includes data about the location, device (including the IP address), operating system, etc.
The other kind of personal data refers to information about viewed pages, search queries, social media posts, and data that determines user’s preferences and interests, as well as social status, religious beliefs, political views, etc. A separate group of data includes the user’s payment information.
Long story short, the GDPR regulation was made up specifically for personal data protection. It consists of 99 articles that govern the relationship between those who provide their personal data (EU citizens) and those who collect, process, and use this data (internet services, web resources, commercial and non-profit companies, organizations, etc.)
GDPR applies to the entire world, although it was specifically adopted in the EU. This is a law protecting the rights of any online user who either lives in EU territory or is an EU citizen.
Personal data protection laws have existed before, but it was the GDPR that made so much noise for three reasons: 1) its global nature, 2) the necessity to notify about data leakage, and 3) big fines for violators.
The amount of the fine is determined on a case-by-case basis; yet, the regulations specify the maximal number of a fine for two types of violations:
For minor violations, a warning is relied on first. Nevertheless, paying a fine does not exempt an entity from compliance with GDPR.
Here are some tips on how to bring your website information systems in accordance with GDPR:
This is a list of the top 10 useful WP GDPR plugins from the official WordPress.org website. This means all of them are free and 100% compatible. A bunch of other useful plugins for your WP website is waiting for your review down here.
Consider using this free GDPR plugin for easier DPR (Data Protection Officer) management. It helps you deal with consent management, pseudonymization of user website data, data breach notification logs, batch email notifications, etc. The plugin allows accessing data by the admin dashboard with email and has a telemetry tracker for plugin visualization. You will not find anything similar to this plugin for sure.
Cookies are always a great idea, isn’t it? No matter if your first thought was about a snack or website cookies, leave the last ones to the Cookie Notice. It’s a free WP plugin that lets you place a cookie bar to notify users about using them on your website. You will be surprised by the number of customization options. Furthermore, it allows users to opt-in (or out) of viewing your website. You can also include a redirection link on the notice to give users more information about your cookies and privacy policies.
Install this plugin and your website users will be able to request their data, stored in your website’s database using a special Data Request page. After their request, users have temporary access to data and have the right to delete one, if desired.
The plugin helps site owners to automatically add a GDPR consent checkbox to those sections of your website managed by other plugins like Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, WooCommerce, WordPress Comments, etc. Do not worry - all of these plugins are compatible with each other.
5. Delete Me
Sometimes, you’ll have to deal with users who want to delete data from your website forever. Your responsibility is to provide them this opportunity and ensure their data is 100% removed from the source. Delete Me is an irreplaceable tool for such matters. Users will be able to delete their profiles, comments, posts, etc. without any extra requests. Before removal, they will be asked to confirm their action - just in case they clicked the button accidentally.
Wider Gravity Forms Stop Entries is the type of plugin that lets every form submission remain stored on a web server. You can access these form submissions by using the admin panel. This ability is useful when you encounter issues receiving submissions through email. This plugin enables you to easily stop potentially sensitive user data from being stored on your server. How do you stay GDPR compliant with this plugin? You stay compliant by enhancing the privacy of your visitors’ form submissions. You can choose individual gravity forms and then stop this data from being stored.
The WP Security Audit Log keeps track of external threats like hack attempts. Most importantly for you, the plugin helps you deal with data breaches and take security measures required by GDPR. You will know who was on the site at the time of a data breach (it displays IP addresses).
Other useful info you can get from this plugin is a type of a breach (malicious, careless, or accidental). The plugin can also provide data breach details to a regulator necessary for his own inquiry. You can even set up an email alert for any action; for instance, in case a plugin is deactivated.
GDPR Cookie Consent also provides a few customization options to fit your site’s design. For instance, you can choose the cookie bar color, message, and change how the button appears to users. You can choose to turn on and off the cookie bar, show it as a banner, choose where to show the information, and whether to make it sticky on page load.
It provides GDPR compliance products such as ClassiDocs, Blockchain privacy, and enterprise cloud eDiscovery tools. This plugin is currently integrated with Contact Form 7 & Contact Form Flamingo, Gravity Forms, and WPML.
10. WP AutoTerms
Non-compliance can lead your business to unwanted consequences, which includes great financial losses and reputational damage to your brand. It may cause a delay of your business activity or, at least, a change in the way it operates. Another kind of impact caused by GDPR is its spread far beyond European borders. It’s obligatory for businesses to comply with the regulation not only within the EU but also outside. This is especially vital for companies selling products and services to EU-based users and watching their online behavior.
Theoretically, no. You don’t have to change your data processing policy if you:
In practice, though, MOST websites collect way too much extra information for their analytics and marketing purposes. This makes GDPR a must-have.
Yes, since WordPress 4.9.6, the core WP software is GDPR compliant. The WordPress team has added several GDPR enhancements to ensure that WordPress meets the requirements.
What is great, we’ve got a bunch of GDPR compliance WP plugins to help you complete these steps in one click.
Ignoring GDPR is like playing Russian roulette: you never know when it hits. Isn’t it more logical to ensure the safety of your own website than giving yourself a huge risk? WordPress GDPR plugins make a vital step ahead in this procedure.
Due to the dynamic nature of websites, no platform, plugin, or solution can ensure 100% GDPR compliance. The GDPR compliance process will depend on the type of website you have, the data you store, and how you process the data. Do not hesitate to consult with a lawyer about the risks. Following all of these recommendations will ensure your 100% compliance.