The topic of data privacy has come a long way in a short space of time. Much has been written about the penalties that can be imposed on organizations that do not comply with privacy laws.
As a result, companies are beginning to realize that there is an important element of the new rules that they may have overlooked in their initial privacy risk assessment.
This missing element is "reputation". Yes, substantial fines should already be enough to start taking this topic seriously. But the potential loss of reputation should be a top concern for all marketers, regardless of industry.
Rest assured, the authorities are taking the new rules very seriously, considering data protection and privacy a “human right”. This means that if your organization fails to comply with the requirements set out in various laws around the world, then the violation will receive a public outcry. Then not only existing, but also potential customers will find out about your non-compliance with the rules.
How do consumers view privacy?
- 73% are concerned about how brands are using their personal data.
- 76% are concerned about the amount of data brands collect when looking for or buying a product.
- 73% are so concerned about how brands are using their personal information that they believe that this process is not controlled.
- 71% believe that companies and brands should not be allowed to share data with other companies or brands.
- 61% feel they have no control over the level of privacy they need for themselves, their family, or their children.
The value of trust
The trust. It is the trademark of the digital economy. Without trust, your customers are one click away from switching to a competitor. Violation of confidentiality can lead to the loss of the customer's earned trust in the brand over the years. And ultimately, against this background, the fine may seem insignificant.
Looking at the main elements of the various privacy laws, there are two overarching questions they raise:
- Can customers trust you with their own data?
- Do you have an appropriate data management program to support this trust?
Marketers' Next Step: Consider Regulations and Laws When Managing Data
Companies implementing data privacy programs are quickly realizing that much of what is required is similar to what they may have achieved with previous data governance initiatives. At its core, data confidentiality is about organizing people, processes, and technologies to achieve one goal.
Looking at the excerpts from the GDPR, it is clear that this is the case. Each provision is about establishing proper data management and maintaining a proactive approach.
USA Link System has case studies and expertise that provide reliable support for marketers in all countries and industries. The approach we recommend will help you achieve compliance as well as ensure that the trust you have built between you and your customers stays intact and becomes part of your brand. Here are our recommendations:
1. Use your privacy software in conjunction with existing data management practices. As mentioned, maintaining confidentiality is very much a data management issue, and organizations should not look at the two separately.
2. Build confidentiality into the design of all processes (i.e. treat data confidentiality as a key component of your organization and all business initiatives).
3. Make sure everyone in the organization knows their role in ensuring the security and privacy of customer data. A company can lose its reputation from just one reckless employee act that violates confidentiality.
Through our experiences with data privacy practices, we've learned that not only did it not interfere with our marketing efforts, but improved them overall.