We all value our privacy and so it can be upsetting when our privacy has been exposed in the form of a data breach, for example. A lot of businesses nowadays have to tread carefully, especially when it comes to customer data and adhering to the various privacy laws in place.
Whilst there are some countries that still have very little in the way of privacy laws, more and more countries have begun to introduce new legislation. This has led to businesses having to make changes in how they collect, use and distribute data.
It’s not something that can easily be ignored either, with strict fines and various other consequences in place should a business be found to breach these privacy laws. How can you keep up to date with the latest privacy laws?
In this article, you’ll understand why as a business, privacy laws are so important and the steps you can take to help keep up with the latest laws coming into play. Staying on top of these privacy laws will help ensure your business stays within the lines.
Why are privacy laws important for business in 2022?
Privacy laws are becoming increasingly prevalent in many parts of the world due to the need that many have when it comes to gaining more control over their data. For too long now, data has been easy to sell and distribute easily without needing the individual’s consent and so these laws are helping gain back that control.
Whilst it might be frustrating for some businesses to adapt to, it’s beneficial in the long run. Why are privacy laws important for businesses in 2022?
It encourages trust in your customers
Consumer trust is highly important nowadays, especially when many businesses exist mainly online. Only 34% of consumers trust the brands they use, which is a very small amount and a benchmark that you should be zooming past when it comes to your own customer trust.
When you’re making a proactive effort to keep up with data privacy laws, it shows your customers that you care about their privacy.
Helps document your efforts and can be used as evidence
It’s likely that you’ll want to put procedures and software in place to help keep in line with any privacy laws your business needs to adhere to. Whilst this is good for the management of your business, it can also prove as critical evidence that you may need should you get into trouble with local authorities or a customer claims to have had their data mishandled.
By documenting your efforts, it’s likely going to save your business from future damages.
Identifies any vulnerabilities within the business
No business is perfect and often enough, a business can fail due to issues that already existed without prior knowledge. Addressing privacy laws and how your company has responded to them thus far can be useful knowledge. It can identify any potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited or that could lead to something disastrous like a data breach.
How to keep up to date with the latest privacy laws
If you’ve not already become familiar with the latest data privacy laws, then a quick Google search will likely bring up some of the most recent ones that have come into place. However, there are other ways that you can help your business stay up to date with the latest privacy laws.
Introduce privacy law alerts with Osano
There are lots of tools and useful platforms on the internet nowadays that can help with business operations. When it comes to privacy laws, Osano can be a useful tool to help flag new privacy laws as they come into practice.
As a business, you may have customers from around the globe, meaning your privacy laws may vary from one territory to another. Osano’s Privacy Law Alerts is a product that provides information on new privacy laws as they come in. That way, you have no excuse when it comes to staying up to date.
This is just one product example but it’s worth trying it out, especially as you can do so for free before committing to a purchase.
Do your research on current privacy legislations in place
Building up your knowledge base when it comes to current privacy legislation in place is key and it can help you become more proficient and proactive in your efforts to adhere to these laws.
Whether data privacy is handled by certain individuals in the business or it’s the responsibility of most in the company, make sure everyone’s getting the relevant training or awareness of how to operate within these laws.
It may be useful to hold regular training sessions that can address any hesitations or gaps in the knowledge of your staff. If no training is given or there’s a lack of awareness of privacy laws, errors can be made that could lead to data breaches. With 88% of all data breaches being caused by employee mistakes, it’s not something that a business should be ignoring.
Audit your company to improve data privacy
For your company’s sake, it’s good practice to audit your business when it comes to data privacy. There are more than likely going to be issues with how your data is collected, accessed, and handled in general.
It’s always better to be proactive in your prevention than to do nothing and risk some fraudster finding a vulnerability in your security systems. Auditing your company is a great way to do a deep dive into your data privacy practices and to identify where you could improve on your efforts to protect your customer’s data - as well as your own!
Receive guidance from legal counsel
Failure to comply with data privacy laws can be an outcome that you want to avoid at all costs. Receiving guidance from legal counsel is definitely a good way to help prevent that from happening. Many businesses will hire a data security or privacy attorney, whether that’s having them permanently in-house or on a consultancy basis.
These roles can help the business analyze the laws in place that apply to the organization and provide suggestions on how to improve their efforts to remain compliant with the law. Not all businesses currently have this legal counsel in place, so it’s certainly one that you should be considering if you don’t have it thus far.
Look to strengthen your data policies and procedures
When it comes to your company’s data policy or procedures for handling data, it’s good to take the scope of what the current procedures are and how you could strengthen them. It may be that you rewrite or add to your current data policy to protect employees from making rookie mistakes.
You may wish to implement more software and tools that help manage the data your business holds, more easily and with less risk involved.
What are the consequences of failing to abide by privacy laws?
We don’t recommend taking privacy laws lightly when it comes to the business. Failure to comply with privacy laws can be pretty severe and if you’re not careful, could result in the loss of your business. Here are just a few consequences that can come with failing to abide by privacy laws in 2022.
Fines are the most damaging when it comes to smaller businesses that may not be able to recover from such a financial loss. For GDPR alone, you can expect fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of the firm’s global turnover. That’s a considerable amount of money that could end up ruining the company completely.
These data privacy laws don’t discriminate either and will go after any sized business, regardless of their reputation or how long they’ve been operating.
For serious cases, you may find yourself being taken to court by your own customers if you’re found to be breaking the law. This can be a lot more personal, rather than it simply being about your business.
Loss of customers
By not complying with privacy laws, you’re more likely to lose customers because of it. Whether you’ve experienced a data breach or not, simply mishandling the data and customers finding out about it, could see significant damage to your company’s reputation.
Once you lose customers, it can be very difficult to gain their trust back and have them return to the business.
Keep up to date with privacy laws in 2022
It pays to stay up to date when it comes to your privacy laws in 2022. Do everything you can to help prevent and preempt the fallout that can come from data breaches and breaking these laws.
Stay attentive to new privacy laws as they come in thick and fast. Do what you can to protect yourself and your customers so that if you do fall victim to a data breach, you’ve done all you can to avoid it.
Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)
Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator.