Privacy is important. No one wants their personal information made public. It’s not only potentially embarrassing, but it could also lead to identity theft and fraud.
Privacy is also important to enterprises. Keeping business and customer information private is part and parcel of data security and can benefit your organization in many ways. Embracing data privacy strengthens the bond between your company and its customers, builds your company’s brand and reputation, and solidifies your commitment to personal and business ethics.
Why Privacy is Important
Why is privacy important to enterprises? Here are nine key reasons.
1. It Protects Your Customers
According to a Pew Research survey, 79% of Americans are concerned about how businesses use the data they collect. They expect businesses and other institutions to keep the personal information they provide them secure, and they fear that their information will be sold by less scrupulous companies or stolen in a mass data breach.
Your customers expect you to protect their privacy by keeping their personal data secure. They want you to be transparent about how you use their personal data – and not sell it to third parties.
2. It Builds Customer Loyalty
You stand a good chance of losing customers if your firm experiences a major data breach. A survey by Baringa Partners indicates that a company could lose more than half of its customer base if it experiences a major data breach.
3. It Provides a Competitive Advantage
If one company has a good reputation regarding customer privacy and its competitors don’t, to which company will customers gravitate? An enterprise that makes customer privacy a priority – and publicizes that fact – will have a distinct marketplace advantage.
4. It Builds Brand Value
Consider the damage to a brand if it experiences a major data breach, or if it becomes known for selling customer data to third parties. Centrify surveyed consumers who were victims of a data breach and discovered that 65% lost trust in the organization that experienced the breach, and 27% of respondents stopped doing business with that company altogether.
A brand’s value comes not only from its products and services but also from its ethics and reputation. There are “good” brands and “bad” brands – a brand known for respecting its customers is a good one that builds value over time. In this respect, privacy isn’t just a policy issue for your company, it’s also a brand issue.
5. It Helps Grow Your Business
Consumers want to do business with companies that respect their privacy. Pew Research found that 93% of those surveyed said it was important to have control over who is allowed to collect information about them. Over time, customers will migrate away from companies with less-than-stellar reputations toward those known for their privacy standards. By developing a reputation for respecting and protecting customer privacy, a company can attract and keep more customers to foster growth.
6. It Spurs Innovation
Companies that focus on privacy have the opportunity to innovate in today’s privacy-focused marketplace. What new privacy-related products and services can your company create? What new customers can your company attract with innovative offerings designed to protect their privacy? Privacy can be the driver of innovation, if you let it.
7. It Ensures Regulatory Compliance
It’s necessary to focus on privacy in order to comply with various industry and government regulations. If your enterprise doesn’t meet all applicable privacy requirements, you may be subject to massive fines and possibly jail time. It’s also likely that your company will risk valuable business and customer relationships if it is continually non-compliant. In this instance, a focus on privacy is a necessity, not a luxury.
8. It Builds Trust
Trust is at the heart of all business relationships and not always easy for a company to establish. For customers to buy from your company, for investors to invest in your company, and for the general public to welcome your company into their communities, they must trust you.
Trust is something that must be earned, and one important way to earn it is to respect your customers’ privacy and be transparent about how you use their personal data. You want your customers to trust you with their information – and your investors to trust you with their capital.
9. It’s the Right Thing to Do
Finally, respecting the privacy of your customers is simply the right thing to do. Keeping confidential information private should be an essential component of your company’s code of ethics. You may not legally have to treat privacy as sacrosanct, and your competitors might not always do it, but you should, anyway. You want your business to do good as it does well, and taking privacy seriously is one important way to do that.
Wickr Pro: The Secure and Private Communications Platform
Wickr Pro is a secure communications platform for enterprises that take privacy seriously. Wickr Pro offers texting, voice and video calling, voice and video conferencing, and file and screen sharing – all protected by end-to-end encryption. Communication and collaboration are private and secure, for all parties involved.