Updated: Jun 8
Data is the new oil.
We live in an era where we cannot do anything without data—especially businesses.
Data is the most valuable asset businesses need to understand the right audiences, their interest, and their behavior and cater to them in a digital world.
But often, in the garb of enhanced customer experience, businesses end up hurting the sentiments of their consumers by collecting, processing, and sometimes sharing/selling personal data.
This creates trust issues, and people practice constraints by not allowing businesses to collect their data, thanks to the advent of cookie blockers and data privacy laws.
These policies are sometimes also referred to as Privacy Statements or Privacy notices, and they act as legal instrument safeguarding both the business and its customers.
A Data Protection Agreement is an internal document outlining how your business and third-party vendors will handle customer data ethically and safely. Most website users or customers have yet to learn what data agreements are and have any other reason to read them.
These policies usually pop up along with the cookie consent banners if a website has one, other than the ones customers commonly encounter when filling up some of their details and information.
Suppose you collect even the slightest of personal data from your visitor or customers digitally through a website or an app. In that case, you must consider having an in-depth declaration of how your organization handles data.
Key US data privacy laws impacting privacy policies.
CCPA: Grants California residents' rights over personal information, such as access, deletion, and opting out of data sales. Privacy policies must disclose collected information, purposes, and consumer rights.
GDPR: EU regulation applicable to non-EU businesses processing EU residents' data. Privacy policies should cover legal basis, data retention, and transfers.
VCDPA: Virginia law similar to CCPA, providing rights to residents. Privacy policies should disclose data purposes, categories collected, and consumer rights.
4. CPA: Colorado law granting residents privacy rights, including opt-out of targeted advertising. Privacy policies should cover data purposes, retention, and consumer rights.
5. Nevada Privacy Law: Requires opt-out option for the sale of personal information.Privacy policies must disclose information categories and third-party sharing.
Privacy Policies: Helps Businesses to Establish Trust
It couldn't be more accurate.
Demonstrating transparency by being upfront with your data strategy helps customers trust their data with your business.
Businesses can take a step further and get a competitive edge by investing in automated compliance solutions like a Consent Management Platform that fully integrates with your website and builds end-to-end privacy automation through your businesses' digital touchpoints.
As per Pew Research Center, more than 80% of Americans are concerned about how their data is collected and processed.
1. Information collected:
Businesses should articulate how you, the business owner, will collect, process, and use their customers' data in a clear, concise, and straightforward manner. This includes personal data such as:
First name and last name.
Credit card information.
We may also collect non-personal information like cookies, IP addresses, device information, and website usage data.
2. Data usage:
This may include order processing, customer support, personalization of user experience, analytics, marketing communication, and compliance with legal obligations.
You must use personal data only for business purposes, such as marketing and advertising, not for selling or sharing their data as part of your revenue operations.
And even if you do so, ensure you get the user's required consent.
3. Data sharing:
This is tricky and often the most neglected one.
And many companies, without consent and authorization, share and even sell consumer data to third-party or government agencies.
For instance, a big-tech company in the US was accused of the deliberate sharing of the private email addresses of millions of consumers to the US's top security agency.
Specify the categories of third parties with whom you may share data, such as payment processors, shipping providers, marketing partners, and service providers.
4. Data retention:
Companies collect data and then store it. But what they need to clarify is how long they are going to keep it.
This includes details on how long you store personal data depending upon the purpose for which it is collected.
Ensure that data is not retained for longer than necessary and is securely deleted or anonymized when it is no longer needed.
5. User rights:
Concerning their data, explain to your customer how much privacy and customer rights are essential to your business.
As per new data privacy laws such as CCPA, VCDPA, and CPA, users have the right to withdraw their consent and object to specific data processing activities and access, correct, and delete their personal data.
Give users detailed instructions on exercising their rights and contact your point of contact with any questions or requests relating to their data.
6. Security measures:
These measures may include encryption, secure data storage, access controls, regular system updates, and employee training on data protection practices.
Continuously review and enhance your security protocols to maintain high data protection.
1. Placement on website/app:
2. Consent and acceptance:
Consent is crucial when engaging with consumers' personal data in today's digital world.
You can take consent and preferences through checkboxes or pop-up notifications during signups, demo-schedule, online transactions, or app installations.
3. Communication channels:
Customer service staff must be familiar with the privacy statement and prepared to answer questions regarding it.
Demonstrate transparency to your customers and be responsible and ethical about your data collection practices that ensure the safe handling of customers' data.
This will undoubtedly lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Your customers will appreciate the effort, and you'll reap the benefits in the long run.