Ensuring Compliance with the Data Protection Act in CRM 

Published: 10 June 2024

Customer data is invaluable to businesses, most rely heavily on CRM solutions to enhance their operations. Storing sensitive personal information, however means companies must ensure compliance with data protection regulations, particularly the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) in the UK. This blog looks at how businesses can make the most of CRM while staying compliant.  

Principles of the Data Protection Act 

The purpose of the DPA is to protect individuals’ privacy rights and regulate the processing of personal data. Within the DPA there are several core principles that businesses must adhere to: 

  • Lawful, Fair, and Transparent Processing 

This means businesses must have consent for the data being used, it must be processed in a way that’s not misleading, they must be clear about how they collect use and store the data.

  • Purpose Limitation 

The business must be clear about the reasons for collecting the data and must only use it for the specified reasons. An example of this is using an email address for sending a newsletter to subscribers.

  • Data Minimisation

Only collect and retain personal data that is necessary for the intended purpose, ensuring it is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary. An example of this would be a delivery company – they need a person’s address in order to deliver the package. They do not need any other details such as, marital status or employment details.

  • Accuracy

Take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of personal data and update it when necessary. This means verifying the contact details of the members of your data base. 

  • Security

Implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of personal data, protecting it from unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction, or damage. One of the best ways of ensuring the security of your data is to ensure your business has robust cybersecurity measures, including training your staff.

  • Accountability and Compliance

This is ensured by implementing policies around how your data is handled. There must also be procedures as to how these policies are implemented, like how consent is gathered or how what happens if there is a breach. Along with this you must also keep detailed records of all your processing. 

Ensuring CRM Compliance with the DPA 

To make sure your CRM practices are in line with DPA requirements your business should take the following steps: 

  • Data Mapping 

Review all the personal data in your CRM system, noting where it came from, why it’s there, and the legal reasons for using it. 

  • Consent Management

Get clear and specific permission from individuals before using their personal data, making sure they understand and agree to it willingly. 

  • Data Security Measures

Use strong security measures like encryption, access controls, and regular checks to protect personal data in the CRM system. 

  • Data Subject Rights

Set up tools in the CRM system to help people exercise their rights over their data, like accessing it, correcting mistakes, deleting it, or objecting to its use. 

  • Training and Awareness

Educate employees on their responsibilities under the DPA and provide training on CRM usage and data protection best practices. 


Data is extensively used by all businesses and there are some legitimate concerns around data privacy so making sure your data is protected and compliant is vital. When businesses build strong data protection into how they use CRM systems, they build trust, lower risks, and respect people’s privacy. If you’d like to know more about compliance and how to secure your data, get in touch. 

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