As business owners and moms, we know how valuable privacy is. Whether it’s to have adult conversations, watch movies above a PG-13 rating, chow down on your favorite snack without having to share, or protect your personal data while scrolling, privacy, and regulation are key.
While the children in your house might not heed the rules well, it is imperative that you as a business owner understand and comply with the rules.
It’s self-care for your online boundaries! We’ve collected what you need to know about internet privacy today.
What is online privacy?
Online privacy is the protection an individual has while connected to the internet, like that bathroom door lock you pray holds so you can get a few moments of peace.
Protection of information like personal and financial data (think name, location, and credit card numbers) and communications and preferences (think texts, DMs, purchases, and activity). Everything on the internet mines data.
Every click, link, platform, webpage, server, shop, and app, everything collects data on its users. While it’s kind of scary to think about, life without the internet seems like a much worse fate, and more than ever, industries including ours in marketing are using this information in super-valuable ways.
Knowing pertinent information about particular sectors of people enables us to get, show and sell the right products to the right people. It’s great! We can do a helluva good job increasing conversions for our clients because we know a lot about and track our client’s users’ actions.
And so should you because your users have the right to know how their data is being used and 75% of customers strongly associate privacy with trust. (Salesforce research).
And well, because it’s the law.
Laws can vary depending on your state and country but our advice is, when in doubt, just cover all the bases. The Federal Trade Commission or FTC requires privacy policies for businesses collecting sensitive data.
Most people think that the bulk of data comes from customer purchases but data collecting can also be generating leads, making appointments, newsletter subscriptions, and analytics shared with a third party for advertising or sponsorships.
Under this law, it is the legal responsibility of website owners to ensure the personal data of their users is collected and processed lawfully.
Consent is most often communicated through a cookie consent bar or banner.
We’ve all visited a site with those branded pop-up boxes talking about cookies? That’s for GDPR compliance! Not subliminal messaging to eat cookies although it just makes us want cookies all the time. (cookie emoji) And before you think, well, I’m not in the EU so this doesn’t apply to me!, let me fill you in on this tidbit: this law extends to anyone collecting data from users inside the EU and not just those who sell products to users in the EU.
This policy needs to cover:
⚡️ what data is being collected
⚡️ how it’s being collected
⚡️ what you do with the data
⚡️ how customers can control their data
⚡️ how you protect the data
No need to write up a policy filled with legal jargon. No one really understands or is going to read all that anyway. Just keep it simple. Be clear and concise and make sure it’s updated with any changes in your business or data usage.
Need an example? Rocket Lawyer has a great tool here.
Make sure you are GDRP compliant
For GDPR compliance, websites must gain the consent of their users for the specific use of their data through cookie consent.
Use tech to your advantage here by using one of the many cookie consent apps and plugins available with your site platform. Find or create one that prompts visitors to give consent in an easy and understandable way.
Our Flairst team resides in various places in the US as do most of our clients, and most of their customers, and we still recommend a cookie consent bar for everyone because users are not just US-based. And if it matches your branding, all the better!
We know you’ve just about had your fill of legal talk for the day or month. We’ve definitely talked ourselves out on this one.
Just know privacy compliance is a big deal for you and your business. You can get in trouble for noncompliance.
We love the internet and everything it makes possible for not only our clients but for ourselves personally (like giant, oversized sweatshirts, silly cat toys, and all the plants).
Private information should remain secured and be used ethically and used exactly and exclusively in the ways you detail especially in a time where 54% of customers say it’s harder than ever for a company to earn their trust. (Salesforce research) The same thing can be said about the good chocolate you hide from the people who don’t appreciate it the right way! Protect it!
Do the right thing, follow the rules, protect users’ info and be awesome. ✌️