Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The laws surrounding data privacy have changed a lot in the last few years. As more questions have been raised about the way businesses handle the personal information they collect about their customers, new legislation has been introduced to protect consumers. All businesses are responsible for managing customer data in the right way to ensure that they are in line with the laws. 

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners think that they’re doing everything above board even though they are inadvertently breaking data privacy laws. If you are found to be breaking data privacy laws, your business could be subject to a huge fine which, in some cases, could sink the business. The authorities won’t have any sympathy for you because the infringement was accidental, so it’s up to you to make sure that you are looking after data properly and you avoid the common pitfalls that people fall into. These are some of the most common ways that businesses accidentally break data privacy laws. 

Not Knowing The Law 

The laws surrounding data privacy can be quite complicated and they are always changing. Technology has advanced so much in the last few decades and legislation is only now catching up, which means that new laws are being introduced all the time and old laws are being updated. There are also specific laws that apply to certain types of business. For example, if you run a child daycare business, there are different laws surrounding the private data of children. There are different rules for medical businesses too because private medical information needs extra protection. 

A lot of businesses get caught out because new laws are introduced or they don’t realize that their business is subject to different rules. When the laws change, they don’t update their own data privacy processes to bring them in line with new legislation. It’s important that you stay up to date with the law so you are aware of any changes and you can change your business processes as a result. 

Failing To Ask For Permissions

Whenever you go to a website these days, you’ll get a pop-up asking about cookies and data collection, etc. You’ll get the option to choose what data you want to share and how it will be used. This is a legal requirement in the EU, and if your site doesn’t have this feature, you’re breaking the law. You want to make this process quick and easy for your customers and make sure that they know they are in control of their data. Check out these GDPR consent form examples to get an idea of how to ask for permissions in the right way. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask people to opt in to marketing emails etc. Make sure that you stay up to date with legislation to ensure that you are giving the right options on your consent forms. 

Using Customer Photos For Marketing 

Customer testimonials are a great way to promote your business. Their opinion carries a lot more weight than yours does, but you do have to be careful about how you use them. Photos of customers enjoying your product are great for marketing, but you can’t just use them without permission. If you upload pictures of people on your website or print them on direct mail marketing materials without asking them first, you are in breach of data privacy laws. So, if you are going to use customer photos, get their permission in writing first, so it doesn’t come back to bite you later on. 

Bad BYOD Policies 

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are becoming more common in business. It saves you a lot of money if your employees can use their own computers and tablets for work, and it’s often easier for them because they’re using devices that they are comfortable with. Remote work is much easier when people use personal devices too. However, there are some big security concerns that you need to manage and a lot of businesses breach data privacy laws because they have bad BYOD policies in place. 

If your employees don’t have adequate security software installed on their devices and they regularly use unsecured public wifi networks, all of the customer data they have access to is at risk. Banning people from using their own devices is one way around this but if you still want the benefits of BYOD, you need to improve your policy. Make sure that all devices have been assessed by your IT department to ensure that they are protected and offer security software to all employees. Make sure that all of your employees understand the importance of data security and they know how to set strong passwords on their devices, etc.

Bad Phone Policies 

Whenever you speak to a customer over the phone, you need to take steps to ensure that customer data is protected. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses make mistakes and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Whenever you speak to a customer on the phone, you need to ask security questions to make sure you are speaking to the right person. If you start discussing personal details without asking security questions, you could accidentally reveal personal data to the wrong person. It’s easy for people to fall into bad habits and start skipping the security questions, especially as customers often get frustrated with them. To combat this, you need to explain the importance of these questions to your staff and give them a short script to help them explain it to customers too. 

Be careful about recording phone conversations too. Although it can be beneficial for training, you could be breaking data privacy laws if you record and store phone conversations that contain sensitive personal information. You can still record calls, but you should cut the security questions and any credit card information or addresses, etc. 

Most data privacy breaches happen by accident and the perpetrators think that they’re doing everything right. If you are making these common mistakes, you could be breaking the law. 


Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts. However, kindly refrain from adding links in your comments because they will be marked as spam and filtered out. Thank you!