The Essential Small Business Guide to Data Privacy

The Essential Small Business Guide to Data Privacy

What is data privacy?

Data privacy refers to how you gather and use the data you collect. It covers issues like:

● Gaining consent from your customers to collect, use or sell their data

● Giving proper notice to customers if your privacy practices change

● Offering individuals rights to access and delete their data

Fundamentally, data privacy is the proper and responsible collection, creation, use, sharing, retention and disposal of information about people. It also includes decisions about when not to collect, not to create, not to share and not to permit certain uses of information to protect a person’s privacy interests. 

Laptop and a padlock representing data privacy.

Why should small businesses prioritize data privacy?

Beyond your legal obligations, there is a strong business case for embedding a culture of data privacy into your small business. Businesses that prioritize data privacy tend to have a competitive edge over those that do not. Other benefits of a strong culture of data privacy include:

●     Increased business agility

●     Informed business decisions

●     Fewer losses from data breaches

●     Better business reputation

●     Optimized data processing

●     More efficient operations

Final words of advice:

The global privacy ecosystem is complicated and growing every day. To reduce compliance costs today and into the future, the best thing a small business can do is to reduce the volume of personal information flowing through it. A less-is-more attitude toward data collection goes a long way. It doesn’t exempt your business from compliance. On the compliance front, prevention is much better than a cure. Seeking qualified help will always be significantly less expensive than either an enforcement action or a data incident.

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