Today is Data Privacy Day, an annual opportunity to call attention to data privacy and protection. For privacy advocates, it is a time to rally public sentiment and promote best practices.
But it is also a time to reflect. Are businesses doing everything they can to protect sensitive data and stay ahead of compliance requirements?
Given the sheer amount of data collected, it is not surprising that privacy is on the minds of consumers and corporations alike. According to a recent U.S. survey performed by the Center for Data Innovation, roughly 8 in 10 respondents said they wanted online services to collect less data even if it meant more ads (53 percent) and fewer features (54 percent). In addition, a majority (74 percent) said they would be willing to deal with less-useful ads in exchange for less data collection as well.
On the surface, it may seem like the desire of businesses to collect sensitive information is at odds with the desire of customers to protect it. But that is not truly the case. For example, a separate study found that many consumers were willing to share their location data with mobile applications in exchange for discounts at nearby stores and restaurants. Businesses need to find the sweet spot where they can securely collect, store, and leverage the data they need without making the public feel intruded upon.
Just how much privacy is enough is increasingly the subject of legislation. Regulations like GDPR have requirements about how personal data should be handled. In the U.S., there continues to be speculation about federal data privacy legislation as states consider their own laws as well. Whether data is covered by compliance regulations or not, however, protecting privacy should be the default setting of today’s businesses.
To that end, here are some ideas for you to consider as your company contemplates its own privacy policies.
Know what you collect: Organizations need to understand what data they are collecting and its level of sensitivity. This will allow businesses to make sure the right security and compliance controls are in place.
Notifying customers: Build trust by telling customers what data you are collecting.
Right to delete: Customers should have the right to have their data deleted if they request it.
Power to choose: Not all customers want their data collected. Consider giving them the option to opt out if they choose.
Protecting Privacy is Good Business
As you build out your own security and privacy awareness efforts, check out MediaPRO’s free Data Privacy Day toolkit, available below. Let’s celebrate Data Privacy Day by putting privacy first.