Consumers are becoming more aware of data privacy and more careful about the data they share online. Regulators are enacting new and stronger privacy protections for consumer data. It’s clear that there is a growing focus on data privacy – but what does that mean for your enterprise?
Why Data Privacy is Increasingly Important
It’s telling that almost a third of U.S. Internet users have installed ad-blocking software that prevents websites from tracking their activity online – and two-thirds regularly clear their cookies and browsing history. According to a McKinsey survey, 71% of American consumers said they’d stop doing business with any company that gave away their personal information without permission.
Recognizing these concerns, governments in the U.S. and abroad are enacting tough new data privacy regulations. Legislation such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aim to protect consumers’ privacy by regulating how consumer data can be used and threatening large fines if that data is breached.
A recent Forbes article makes the case that focusing on data privacy can be a competitive advantage for savvy companies. As consumers focus more and more on protecting their personal information, they are likely to shift their allegiances to companies that give them more control over their data and promise not to use that data in ways that don’t provide clear benefit.
How Should Your Enterprise React to Increasing Demands for Data Privacy?
Consumers are demanding more control over and protection of their online data. Regulators are targeting enterprises that don’t take data privacy seriously. And your competitors are increasing their efforts in ensuring data privacy for their customers, putting you at a competitive disadvantage if aren’t equally open and focused on protecting customer data. How should your company react?
Take Data Privacy Seriously
The most important step you can take regarding data privacy is to start taking it more seriously. This means creating a culture of data privacy throughout your entire organization, top to bottom. Every employee should know that protecting customer data is of the utmost importance and be trained on how best to do so. You have to make data privacy a priority and provide the necessary resources to ensure that priority becomes a reality.
Ensure Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations
It’s essential that your company’s efforts comply with all government and industry data privacy regulations. Don’t think that you’re exempt from GDPR because you’re based in the U.S., or don’t have to comply with CCPA because you don’t have a branch in California. If your company does any business at all with EU citizens you have to be GDPR compliant; the same for the CCPA if you sell any goods or services in California. Get up to date on all data privacy regulations and ensure that you’re fully compliant at all times.
Secure All Customer Data
One of the key things you can do to enhance data privacy is to fully secure all the customer data you collect. This means deploying robust cybersecurity procedures across the entire enterprise to protect your data stores and guard against ransomware attacks and other data breaches. It also means securing company communications and remote collaboration so that any customer data used remotely is fully secure. (The best way to do this is by employing a communications platform that uses end-to-end encryption, such as that offered by Wickr.)
Don’t Collect Data You Don’t Need
Many companies collect a wide swath of customer data, tracking anything and everything their customers do. In many instances this data isn’t used, creating an unnecessary security risk. You should only collect that data that you need to manage your business and improve the customer experience. Collecting anything more is irresponsible.
Customers want to know what data is being collected and how that data will be used. You need to provide this information to your customers, especially if you intend to sell or trade that data to other companies.
Give Your Customers More Control Over Their Data
Finally, it’s important that you let your customers decide whether they want to give you their data. Customers want more control over their personal information and how companies use it. Provide them with the option to opt out of (or even better, to opt into) your data collection activities. It’s becoming a regulatory requirement and can create much good will with your customer base.
Use Wickr to Help Enhance Your Data Privacy
Securing your company’s communications is an essential part of your company’s data privacy strategy. Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform uses end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that text, voice, and video communications and data files cannot be hijacked or breached by data thieves and other malicious actors. Improve your enterprise’s data privacy by employing Wickr – and ensure that all of your customers’ data remains private and secure.
Contact Wickr today to learn more about how secure communications can enhance your organization’s data privacy strategy.