With new laws governing data privacy of and for consumers, companies are forced to be transparent about what data they collect, how they use that data and where they are distributing or selling it. The question from audiences is no longer “Are you using my data?” but “What exactly are you planning to do with it?”
Laws have already passed in Vermont (regulating the brokering of data) and California (regulating privacy of consumers’ personal information), and we can, and likely should, anticipate more consumer privacy laws to follow. So, what can marketers do to stay ahead of impending changes that would expand beyond the current regulations?
The answer is corporate morality.
The best way to reduce the impact of the potential legislation is to take proactive steps now that set a new standard of responsibility in data use for your organization. Below are some measurable ways marketers can lead the way for the changing industry and creating a foundational perception shift away from data and back to the acknowledgment of putting other humans first.
Create an action plan for complete data control and transparency
Set standards and protocols for your internal teams to determine how you are going to communicate with each other and your clients about data privacy, thus creating a path for all employees to follow and abide by moving forward.
Map data in your organization from receipt to storage to expulsion
Accountability is key. As a business, you should be able to know and speak to what is being done with the data that you are collecting throughout each stage of the process.
Track vendors that deliver data and ensure their compliance
Make sure you are only doing business with vendors who are willing to work in tandem with you toward the goal of full transparency. Aim to establish partnerships with companies that have the same moral standards, giving yourself and your clients added layers of security.
Monitor clients, their compliance and provide data protection services as value added
Being on the front lines of this changing landscape puts you at an advantage when it comes to client services, providing you with the opportunity to educate your clients and serve as support for them.
Train your employees on the importance of data privacy/care
Time and resources will be necessary in supplying team members with the invaluable knowledge they will need to navigate this new legal territory. It is essential to develop their capabilities and understanding to ensure the company as a whole is working toward a common goal.
Instill a new public message for your company
“We work hard to protect data. Let us know if we can do more.” We are all trying to make our way through this learning curve together. Maintain the stance that your organization is working hard toward total compliancy, but that in addition you remain open to any advice or insight that can help improve operations.
Keep it simple
Embracing transparency and honesty with data subjects will foster new creativity in addressing the future of privacy. Clearly communicating with your customers and clients about what you are doing and how it protects or benefits them will go a long way.
Those who navigated GDPR know what the crunch was like leading to May 25; no one wants to experience that again. Preparing your business and your teams today for what the future will inevitably hold will only improve your organization, yourselves and your bottom line.