Privacy is a hot topic these days, and rightfully so. In recent years, awareness toward issues related to privacy and data handling has grown substantially Today, people are more conscious than ever about the implications of sharing personal information with companies online.t’s important to create a digital environment that values customers’ data. So, if you’re building a product or service that potentially collects personal information, you need a focus on privacy.
Enterprise data management (EDM) has been around for some time – the online world exposed us to the power of analytics for the first time when Facebook began collecting information about where we’re coming from and what we do. This was followed by Google and other companies using similar practices for ad targeting. It’s no secret that big data is a big business. It’s also well-known that companies are keen to collect and analyse the information of users to improve their targeting.
The digital world has shifted significantly in recent years and after revelations on the misuse of personal information by large corporations it has become more important than ever to respect customers’ desire for privacy. It’s essential for organisations to establish policies on how user data will be collected, processed, and shared – not just for legal purposes but also for ethical ones. Let’s take a look at what this means.
Privacy organisation culture matters: data ethics
Creating privacy and data policies are often a confusing experience. There are many different types of privacy policies, each with its own approach to protecting customer data. This post will try to help you navigate through this minefield and give you some pointers for improving the way your organisation protects your customers’ data.
Building a privacy-first organisation often starts from having a clear understanding of how customers’ want their data to be handled. A framework for correct data usage should be designed around ethical principles that view personal information as property of the user, and therefore collectible only upon explicit consent. This means that your company must be equipped to handle any customer data that gets passed on to outbound sales leads or customer service agents, for example.
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It is worth keeping in mind that risks connected to data handling often go beyond what companies can predict. Businesses can be negatively affected when something goes wrong. A customer data leak, for instance, is one of the most devastating and difficult things to absorb and react to as a business who handles public information.
Keeping your customers’ details private should always be at the forefront of your mind when you build your products; but even more importantly you need to make sure people don’t feel like their personal information is being used against them without their explicit consent or awareness. Here are five suggestions for creating an ethically-driven digital company:
- Do not use data to target people without their explicit consent.
- Do not use data to conduct profiling or analytics unless you have an individualized reason (for example, if you want to know more about the features of your product or better target future customers).
- Do not use data for any other purpose than what you intended it for when you created the collection process.
- Don’t use your company as a platform for selling user data. Make sure you aren’t using your users as bait to sell third-party products or services.
- When measuring results from your sales or marketing campaigns against other companies, benchmark against competitors who share similar values about protecting users’ privacy.
There are no short-cuts to building a privacy-first organisation and protecting customers’ data. The most direct way to get there is through the company’s own ethical and social values.
Customer privacy and customer experience
It seems that a lot of companies underestimate how important customer privacy is to the success of their businesses. A survey reported by Legal Jobs, has shown that 79% of internet users around the globe feel like having completely lost control over their personal data. This is a major concern not simply in terms of privacy, but also in the context of customer experience.
One of the key elements of a great customer experience is trust, which users have to perceive when interacting with a brand in order to build a solid relationship over time. Improving data protection policies, therefore, means showing that you care about your customers, which will improve their experience when they navigate your site or come across your brand offline.
There are various ways to improve privacy policies in a way that will increase users’ satisfaction. Organisations need to develop suitable tools and make sure they are not only enabled but also widely used on all their systems. Data protection officers should be made aware of how sensitive information is handled in order for them to monitor compliance levels.
Consider implementing additional layers of security around your system such as encryption and two-factor authentication systems. Make sure you regularly test the effectiveness of all these systems and find ways to continuously improve through the direct feedback of customers themselves.
In short, a great customer experience means making people feel like they have ownership of their data, showing that all efforts toward the adoption of best practices are being made.
Building a privacy-first digital environment: final words
Ethical practices become hard to achieve when regulations change frequently and companies are constantly having to reclassify existing policies and procedures. As a result of this constant changing environment companies find themselves redefining what constitutes ethics in order to meet new regulations.
However, there are often simple steps companies can take to improve employee trust in their organisation as well as improve customer privacy, like ensuring that every employee knows the internal rules of confidentiality and clear examples that demonstrate when confidentiality has been violated are used to improve processes and data handling.
Is your company handling customer data correctly? Get in touch today to find out how we can help you improve the experience of your users creating a privacy-first organisation.