What Can a Privacy-First Approach Do for Your Business?

Molly O'Shea
20th May 2015 0 Comments

If a business wants to be successful, one of the key elements it needs to consider is data privacy. Data privacy is becoming increasingly important to users, meaning it’s imperative businesses start implementing privacy practices. In this blog I will take a look at why a privacy-first approach is good for businesses.

Data privacy is also known as information privacy. Information privacy is the privacy of personal information and usually related to personal data stored on computer systems. This personal information can come from financial data, medical records, website data or even criminal records. Personal information has become even more vulnerable with the increase of transactions done over the Web. Consumers are becoming more aware of data privacy and businesses need to start changing their business model to help lessen their worries.

Data is not something businesses earn
One thing that is imperative for businesses to remember is that data is not something that they have earned. Consumers are becoming more aware about privacy issues and having a privacy practice that is perceived as “creepy” can hurt your company’s brand reputation. That’s why it’s important for businesses to remember that they haven’t done anything to earn consumers data, and that they need to be wise with this data. You can lose customer loyalty if you are not protecting customers’ privacy.

Be transparent
In order to have a positive brand reputation, it is essential that businesses are transparent with their customers. A recent privacy study found that the most important issue for the majority of Americans is transparency, consumers want to know how businesses are collecting their data, how they use it and if they are sharing their personal information with third parties. If businesses are open and honest with their customers, it enables them to build a better relationship. Customers can then understand that the data being collected will benefit all parties.

If you collect it, protect it
Businesses need to make sure that they implement security measures to keep consumers personally identifiable information (PII) safe from unauthorized access. Businesses must make sure that they are protecting the data they are collecting. If businesses protect consumers data, it helps build trust between businesses and consumers.

It is also critical for businesses to go above and beyond to protect from hackers. Ask yourself how can hackers break into your network and what will they find? Is your data encrypted? Why is PII really important for you to keep? If you find that some data has become useless to your business then make sure you get rid of it! Keeping PII that is no longer relevant to your purposes is a dangerous game and businesses are better off disposing of it safely so they no longer need to worry about it.

Create a culture
You want to create a culture that embodies data privacy for your employees. Educate your employees and explain to them why data privacy is significant and how it can positively impact your business. Employees should understand the role that they play in keeping consumers’ PII safe. This creates a positive environment within your business if everyone has the same goal in mind.

If you protect your customers you protect yourselves
One of the most important things businesses need to realize is that by protecting your customers, you’re essentially protecting your business. If your business implements a privacy-first approach, it can protect the business from backlash. The last thing you want is for your customers to not trust your business or be angry.

At DataSift, our mission is to provide businesses insights while protecting consumers’ identity. If you would like to learn more about data privacy, take a look at our white paper, Balancing Human Data Intelligence and Consumer Trust.

 

Molly O'Shea

Written by Molly O'Shea

Demand Generation Manager at DataSift

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