Massive data scandal and breaches are changing the way individuals and organizations regard data privacy and security. Amid a digital environment with pervasive ‘fake news,’ fraud and the decentralization of the web via social media channels, consumers are genuinely distrustful — Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer reports that 73% of internet users foster suspicion. Key factors that can exacerbate distrust include brands soliciting too much information from users, confusing, dense privacy policies and behavioral advertising creep (the incursion of ads into previously private ad-free spaces like bike lanes, parking meters, public bathrooms, etc.).
Privacy policies provide an opportunity for organizations to explicitly lay clear their operating terms, and to examine the policies of those they conduct business with. Concise, digestible information can relay a company’s protocol regarding areas of common consumer mistrust like transparency of data sharing and selling practices, security terms, compliance obligations, operational risks or breach management strategies.
Visibility into Your Vendors’ Policies
Digital interactions between companies using third-party services to deliver their own services or products, selling and/or sharing data and employing technology solutions on the day-to-day are creating a more complex and unwieldy risk surface area. The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation found that third-party vendors are responsible for two out of every three data breaches.
This means that knowledge about your vendors, and your vendors’ vendors is a prerequisite to not only mitigate your business’ exposure to vulnerabilities but also to protect your viability for future success. But exactly how do you tackle the considerably long, and often abstruse texts of privacy policies? The short answer is help.
Change is the Only Constant
Second, organizations need to uphold privacy-conscious behaviors to bring trust back into the technology equation. Privacy policies aren’t the end-all, be-all solution to building genuine connections to consumers but they are a great place to start.