Data privacy is the process of giving consumers the right to say who can use their information, what they can use, and how it can be used. In many countries, data privacy is considered a fundamental right, and there are a growing number of regulations arising to support those rights.
As more data breaches happen and consumers become more concerned about which data companies are collecting and what they are doing with that data, data privacy has become a key issue. Also, Google has announced that the cookies used to track customers will be deprecated, making them less useful, and Apple is making major changes to IDFAs that make them less usable for marketers, renewing interest in the topic of data privacy.
Data Privacy v. Data Protection
Data privacy primarily involves ensuring consumers have the right to say who can collect and use their personal information, while data protection relates to the tools and processes a company puts in place to ensure data is secure.
Both data privacy and data protection are part of privacy regulations and are critical aspects of data management in companies.
Privacy regulations such as the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), and many other laws in countries such as Canada, Australia, and Japan, are forcing companies across the globe to put in place processes that adequately capture and protect consumer information.
But data privacy is about more than compliance with privacy regulations; data privacy is about building trust with your customers. It is about being completely transparent about what you are doing as a company with that data and giving consumers the ability to decide when and how they want to share their data with a company.
Many companies implement consent management to obtain consumers’ consent to capture and use their personal data and manage it appropriately. Consent management includes the system, process, and policies that help consumers determine which information they’re willing to share and which uses of the customer data they’re willing to allow.
With consent management, consumers are explicitly asked to provide permission to capture and use their information on websites, mobile applications, email, and other channels. These permissions may differ for each channel, and a consent management application helps manage these permissions across channels.
Building Trust Through Data Privacy
While some might think that data privacy reduces a company’s ability to create exceptional customer experiences, the opposite is true. When a company is completely transparent about what they are using a consumer’s data for and only collecting the data they need to improve experiences, most consumers will consent to have their data collected.
It’s then up to the company to live up to the promises they make, using the data collected to deliver targeted personalized experiences while at the same time ensuring that data is appropriately secured.
To support data privacy, companies employ privacy compliance officers to ensure privacy is a priority for the company, include detailed data privacy pages on their websites, and provide mechanisms for consumers to easily give and remove their permission at any time.