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Protecting Customers’ Privacy Requires More than Anonymizing Their Data

Protecting Customers’ Privacy Requires More than Anonymizing Their Data

The elephant in the room of marketing right now is whether companies can gain financially from information market research while still protecting the privacy of their consumers’ data. Managing access to the information after it has been collected is currently the most popular data protection strategy businesses use. Nowadays, having precise and detailed customer information is essential for effective marketing. Unsurprisingly, businesses are eager to assemble vast quantities of it. If companies can’t increase their data protection measures against unauthorized data disclosures, the promised advantages of information market research are severely in trouble.   

The present conventional practice of restricting access to information or erasing personal identifying information is incomplete in adequately reducing the risk of disclosure. According to research, customers are likely to update information with a company they believe will protect it. More legislation is being implemented to verify that companies are responsible and that customers have the authority to remove, transfer, or request a copied version of their data. Presently U.S. is paying a lot of attention to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in the European Union. Through the use of these enhanced databases, effective data-driven marketing has a tremendous amount of potential. Simultaneously, concerns about customer privacy are at an all-time high due to numerous, widely reported privacy hacks like the most recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

Present Regulation of Data Protection. 

While data protection offers the tools and regulations to limit access to the data, data privacy specifies who has access to the data. Companies must take steps to protect sensitive user data, and compliance regulations help ensure that users’ privacy requests are honoured by businesses. Some of the most popular techniques and tools solutions to control access, keep an eye on activity, and deal with threats are:  

  • Give an overview of Data: Knowing what information you have, how it can be used, or where it is recorded is one way to ensure data privacy. Your policies should outline how this data is gathered and used. You must define how often information is checked for and categorised after being discovered.  

What checks and balances are required for the multiple data privacy levels should be expressed in your privacy policies. To guarantee that solutions are implemented correctly, regulations should also include procedures for auditing protections.  

  • Start reducing Data Gathering: Assure that your policies only permit necessary information collection. Keeping your data collection to a minimum can also enable you to conserve bandwidth and storage. Instead of storing or transferring customer data to your systems, these systems use third-party data to verify users.  
  • Transparency with Users: Most people are likely to value transparency when it comes to how you’re consuming and storing data since they are concerned about privacy concerns. Due to the GDPR, user consent is now crucial for data usage and distribution.  

By integrating concerns about privacy into your interfaces, you can be confident that consumers and their authorisation will be considered in your processes. One example has clear user notifications that explain when and why data is collected. Users should have the option to change or reject their data collection. 

  • Data content is changed by encryption, which uses an automated system which can only be undone with the appropriate encryption key. Although if data is stolen, encryption prevents unauthorized access by rendering it unreadable.  
  • Endpoint security guards the terminals, adapters, and connected devices that act as your network’s entry points. Using endpoint protection software, you can typically monitor your network’s perimeter and filter traffic.  
  • Data erasure reduces liability by getting rid of older information. When information is no longer relevant, this can be done either periodically or after the data has been processed and analyzed. A necessity of many regulatory standards, including the GDPR, is the deletion of unnecessary data.  

Why is it important to protect consumer privacy?  

Consumer data are undoubtedly transforming businesses, and businesses are responsible for managing the information they collect.  

  • Maintaining customer trust requires safeguarding personal data of customers. The advantages of protecting customer information are numerous. You won’t just abide by laws and regulations; you’ll also win your client’s trust. Through customer retention, consumer loyalty goes a long way toward ensuring the stability of any organization.  
  • Increase your company’s brand value and safeguard its good name. Data breaches are directly related to a company’s brand image and reputation loss. Brands that firmly believe in safeguarding their customers’ personal information and make these values clear to them frequently rank highly in terms of brand value. Bold statements naturally need to be supported by deeds, which calls for a strong commitment to prevention.  
  • A robust privacy policy can help you outperform the competition. You can successfully retain customers by upholding strong data security protocols and showcasing your capacity to protect sensitive data from online threats. You may even attract more clients as word of your excellent service spreads.  
  • Data security is crucial for business continuity. A company’s most valuable asset is its data, and losing it could hinder business expansion or, in the worst-case scenario, bring about the company’s demise. It is in your company’s best interest to take measures to protect your data and the data of your customers. Taking even minimal security measures can drastically lower the likelihood of data loss and theft, eliminating the threat to business continuity.  
  • Maintaining it is ethically sound. It is only right to take all reasonable steps to safeguard your customers’ data and protect their privacy. While governments have privacy policies in place, you can always go above and beyond.  

If companies can’t improve their data protection measures against unauthorized data disclosures, the promised advantages of information market research are severely at risk. The current method of restricting access to the data or erasing personally identifiable information is insufficient to reduce the risk of disclosure adequately. It’s time for businesses to think about using statistical methods to transform the original data into synthetic data, ensuring that they are sufficiently protected while still maintaining their value for data-driven marketing. 
If you are analysing methods through which you can ensure that the data you and your organisation collect from consumers is safe and protected, let us help you find the most suitable solution. Tsaaro Academy ensures that all its learners know how to manage their organisation’s data. Contact our career counsellors here or look at our corporate training if you want your entire workforce to be upskilled in privacy. 



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