Consent Management

Consent management is a process that informs users about how an organization intends to use and govern their data. It lets users determine what data they are willing to share. Consent management logs and tracks consent collection, so organizations can stay in compliance with global privacy regulations.

Users’ explicit consent gives an organization permission to collect their data, but at the same time, gives users control over the data and how it’s used. Consent management allows users to rescind their consent at any time.

Due to the misuse of personal data, recent regulations control how businesses collect and manage data. In general, data privacy laws require organizations to collect consent before handling any personal information. It is essential (and even mandatory) to obtain explicit consent from users before using their information. 

Consent is one of six lawful bases to process user data, according to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and obtaining consent is the easiest way to protect your business. GDPR, which went into effect in 2018, is a set of laws on data protection in the European Union.

Failure to comply with consent can lead to fines, lawsuits, and damage to your business’ reputation. While data collected on digital platforms is essential to making decisions about your business, you must obtain prior permission to use your customers’ data.

How Consent Management Works

In the consent management process, you gather detailed information about customer opt-ins, including who, when, and what users were told, and what method users consented to. This process includes a variety of steps:

  • Informing users their data is being collected
  • Providing them information about what data is being collected
  • Giving them the opportunity to decide if they agree to this process
  • Recording the consent
  • Allowing users to withdraw or change their consent
  • Allowing users to access or delete their data

Consent management also ensures you are not contacting customers who no longer want to be contacted.

Consent management benefits organizations because it protects your interests and honors your customers’ choices for data use and privacy. It’s important to have a consent management strategy in place to improve the transparency of data collection, provide choice, and secure users’ data. By respecting users’ information, data, and data preferences, organizations can foster a higher sense of trust. 

Some organizations use a Consent Management Platform that automates the process of requiring consent, storing the user preferences, and updating those preferences as needed. Requesting user consent can be as simple as accepting the use of cookies to track data. A more complex example could be providing a customer with a contract that describes the data you are collecting and how you are processing it.

If you provide a mobile app, you will need to ask for consent to perform location tracking, data sharing, and other data management activities. Your consent management practices should also include other ways you collect customer data, such as customer support centers, chatbots, in-person events, and anywhere else that data is acquired or exchanged.

Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson is the Founder and CEO of RoC Consulting, a digital consultancy that helps brands establish the optimal balance of content, technology and marketing to achieve their goals.

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