Privacy of data has become a top concern for companies particularly since they now are able to access huge quantities of customer information. The recent data scandals have brought a spotlight on the way companies handle their customer data and how they treat customers’ privacy. When businesses fail to safeguard the integrity and security of customer data they could suffer severe reputational damage in addition to financial and legal sanctions.

It is understandable that many businesses are concerned regarding their GDPR obligations in the past few years. Even if your business operates in countries where GDPR doesn’t apply, you should be aware of the obligations to safeguard the personal data of customers. Data mining by customers offers fantastic prospects for marketing professionals to create highly customized digital marketing campaigns, however, marketers must still follow the most effective practices to protect their data.

Below, we’ll go over the most important aspects of data privacy regardless of where you operate across the globe and give 10 guidelines for marketers to be aware of. These guidelines are based on the recent GDPR essentials webinar.

Privacy and GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which superseded the previous Data Protection Directive, was created by the European governments in response to the demand to address data security vulnerabilities.

The GDPR is a significant regulation for digital marketers since it provides guidelines for how to keep, store and process any user or customer data they acquire.

Principles of protection of data and privacy

Whatever country your company sells its products and services, and what regulations you are required to follow It is best to follow these six general privacy rules.

  1. Legal, fair and transparent processing
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Data minimization
  4. Data Accuracy
  5. Data retention
  6. Integrity, security, and confidentiality

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.

1. Legal, fair, and transparent processing

Businesses must process user personal data in a way that is lawful, equitable, and transparent. Only in the event that one of the following requirements is satisfied is the processing legal:

  • The consent was granted by the subject of the data.
  • The processing is required by law or as part of a contract.
  • The data needs to be protected from a person’s essential rights and interests.
  • The processing of information is for the benefit of society.

Consent is a crucial element in the privacy of data. In accordance with the GDPR, information must be “freely disclosed, precise in its information, clear and transparent”. When collecting data, businesses must:

  • Make sure you know the conditions for consent.
  • Document how they seek consent to obtain, record and manage consent.
  • It should be easy for individuals to change their minds.

It is not possible to suppose that informed consent is implied by the customer’s interactions. They should have the choice to sign up for the data-gathering procedure, which you should offer.

2. Purpose limitation

If users are willing to consent to the processing of their data they must allow the data to be retained for a specific purpose, which is explicit and legitimate. Particularly, the data is only to serve the purpose that is disclosed to users. For instance, if you inform the user you’re collecting information for research purposes, it is not possible to then use the data to market your products.

Don’t forget, even if you own the data doesn’t mean you are able to make use of it for any purpose. It is not possible to use the data in any manner which is contrary to the purpose for which you have identified with the data.

  • If people share information on the assumption that the information is confidential, don’t divulge it to the media.
  • If customers share information with you regarding their experiences using your product and services, you shouldn’t offer the data to a market research firm.
  • If your employees share health-related personal data with you, then you shouldn’t share this information with your employees or health companies.

In certain situations, you might want to utilize the data for something other than its original goal. If you believe that this new use is not compatible with the original goal it is recommended to obtain permission to utilize the data for the new purpose.

Example:-

Imagine a bank collecting customer information on their banking habits and preferences.

After analyzing the customer’s data the bank discovers that some customers will get better loans or savings offers offered by banks. In this scenario, the use of data is in line with the original goal, and there is no need for further consent.

The bank and the insurance company come to an agreement. It believes that a portion of its customers would benefit from insurance and would like to provide the customer information in the hands of the company offering insurance. In this instance, the use of data is not in line with the original intent, and therefore, a second consent is required.

3. Data minimization

Be aware of the principle that just because you’ve got the information doesn’t mean that you’re free to do whatever you want with it.

If you are processing personal information Your use of the information should be:

  • Affordable
  • Relevant
  • Limited to the minimum amount that is needed

Both collecting data and sharing data fall under this category. Customers must be informed of the purpose for which their details will serve and certain that their data will not be used for any other purpose (without the consent of the customer). In the context of the collection of data, the customer should be able to have reasonable expectations regarding what data will and will not be utilized.

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4. Data Accuracy

When you collect information, it is important to ensure that the data is current and accurate. If you find that you’ve got incorrect personal information (or the data has been accidentally changed) You must delete or correct the information. This isn’t just a case of respecting the privacy of customers. If the information you collect from your customers is incorrect or out of date, it is impossible to make a sound decision using that information.

5. Data retention

Personal information is only retained for the time needed to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected.

Ideally, your business has a data retention policy, and you should communicate this with your customers so that they understand how their personal data is utilized. The policy should state:

  • What kind of information do you collect?
  • The reason you keep it?
  • How long will you keep it?

6. Integrity, security, and confidentiality

If you gather personal data it is your responsibility to safeguard the information. In the end, personal information is the responsibility of the data subject and not you! Data subject to personal data must be handled in a way that guarantees the security of that information.

Particularly, you must use the appropriate organizational or technical measures to guard against:

  • Processing that is not authorized or illegal
  • Accidental loss, destruction, or damage

This issue is becoming more important with the rising trend of remote work. Businesses must ensure that employees working remotely know their responsibilities in regard to the protection of their data. Remote employees should adhere to the company’s guidelines regarding the use of devices email, cloud, access to networks, and the creating, storing, and disposal of documents on paper.

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Privacy of data in the course of

Accountability

There is no need for organizations to be aware of the principles of data privacy. They have to be accountable for their implementation.

The companies can prove their accountability through a variety of ways:

  • Create a solid privacy policy for data
  • Document your data usage procedures
  • Keep abreast of the privacy rules for personal data
  • Provide training to all employees involved so that they can make informed choices.

Legal basis

It is obvious that the way you use personal data should be lawful. What can you do to be sure of this?

In accordance with GDPR the legal processing of personal data is required to use at minimum one (though there are times when several) from the following categories:

  • Legitimate interest is it in the best interest of the company to collect this information (in order to make educated business decisions,)?
  • Public interest: Is the information relevant and beneficial to public institutions?
  • Vital importance: Is the processing of vital importance for the data subject (for instance, to safeguard the data subject through the collection of information on their health or details of their next-of-kin)?
  • Consent: Have users given informed consent?
  • Contract Do you have one that involves the processing of information?
  • Legal obligation Do you have a legal obligation to collect and process information (as in the context of an employer-employee relationship for instance)?

Keep in mind that the more bases you are relying on the simpler it is for you to demonstrate that you’re in compliance with the best data processing practices.

Opportunity

Compliance with the data privacy regulations and best practices could be a major burden for businesses. It certainly requires the right management and constant effort.

There are, however, potential opportunities in data collection and data privacy.

  • 16% of respondents would be delighted to share their information.
  • 50 percent of respondents would think about sharing their personal data.
  • 34% are unwilling to share their personal data.

Privacy of data – 10 rules for marketers

It’s clear that data privacy is a serious issue for the way digital marketers design as well as implement strategies. When collecting personal data ensure that you are clear about the reason you’re collecting it as well as the way you’re using it. Data belongs to customers, therefore, you must respect each customer. Always act ethically throughout the day. The more evidence you can provide that you’re putting your information to good use, the more likely you are to create enduring relationships with your customers.

Here’s a 10-point list of guidelines to help you make sure that your privacy policies for data are as strong and efficient as you can:

  1. Utilize the Gold Standard data protection approach Find out which areas of your digital strategy need the most stringent policies for data protection and apply this method for an approach to be your “Gold Standard” for every area. Consider extending your thinking beyond your area, e.g. Europe, the EU as well as the GDRP.
  2. Take a look at the personal data journey and identify the essential roles to protect data at every stage. Do you have a way to ensure the safety of the individual who is submitting data at every stage?
  3. Your privacy policy should be an advantage in the market: Prove that you’re taking privacy issues more seriously than your competitors. Make clear that protecting your data is a key value of your company.
  4. Make it clear what options are available and opting-in Make sure that people are able to clearly opt in and decide to leave and offer them different options for communications (e.g. SMS, email, phone). Don’t be afraid to hide behind notifications from service providers!
  5. Revisit your email lists: Determine whether they require to be revised and work on strategies for optimizing your email.
  6. Be up-to-date Keep an eye out for new privacy issues (such as tracker pixels) and be prepared to tackle them before you have to. The regulations in this area are only going to increase and get more comprehensive!
  7. You should consider using data relationship management (DRM) software: They can assist you to know the various kinds of data that you’ve got as well as the connections between them. They can also assist you to prove accountability for data protection.
  8. Keep up-to-date with technological advancements: As new technology (such as metaverses, AI, or the Internet of Things, for instance) are developed new privacy concerns for data emerge.
  9. Create a sense of ethics: Develop a culture in which personal information is valued and safeguarded. Make good decisions without feeling pressured to take them. Be aware that the fact that you’re able to accomplish something doesn’t mean you must do it.
  10. Be ready for contextual ads The shift away from cookies and first-party to third-party data will lead to the rise of contextual ads and the associated privacy concerns for data.

BY-SM Digital Solution