Data Privacy

Consumer Privacy, the new hot topic in the industry. Organizations focused on building their brand and doing the right thing are focusing a lot of attention on their privacy protections. Laws around the world and in the United States are requiring businesses to get on board. The two biggest examples are known as GDPR and CCPA.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation which is probably one of the world’s best known and was passed by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. 

CCPA – California Consumer Protection Act requires certain businesses to abide by a set of privacy guidelines put forth by California. 

There are definitely others that exist and more and more states coming online every year. We still have yet to see the United States Federal Government put forth any mandates. It’s all state initiated to date.



The Importance Of Data Privacy


Increased Collection Of Your Information


Data sharing between companies is becoming more and more prevalent. Not only that, but the information companies are collecting on you is more than ever before. Think about Mortgages and all the information you share with them. What if they shared that with other companies? Would that upset you? 

Major tech companies tend to lead the way on giving you visibility into privacy policies and practices, but are also some of the biggest collectors of your personal and private data. Even local mom and pop shops are getting in on the action with the ease of use with digital marketing tools.


Nonexistent Or Lacking Laws


The fact that the legal system hasn’t caught up with the need for streamlined Privacy laws means that companies in the United States are generally a little further behind when it comes to Privacy practices. The existing laws in the United States are thin and often ambiguous meaning the responsibility to protect your information and understand Privacy often falls on you as the consumer.


Data Breaches


Privacy practices, data security practices, and data breaches all have overlap. While security tends to focus on the prevention, detection, and response of issues; privacy tends to focus on the movement/sharing, collection, and opt in and out process. Both matter for a company in ensuring your data is not breached. National big brands are even often victims of large breaches. Can you imagine how much easier it would be for bad actors to breach a small company with no security or privacy oversight? As a consumer, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of information compromise. Trust with companies continues to diminish as practices tend to lack.


The Protection Of Your Information


Try to limit the companies with poor practices you do business with. Try to limit the amount of information you share (unless it’s of benefit for you to share). If it seems weird that a company wants to collect 15 pieces of information on you that aren’t applicable to the service, there are likely some deceptive practices and information sharing going on in the background. Dteckt grades are a great way to see how organizations perform with protecting your information.


Privacy Policies And Privacy Notices


Privacy Polices and Notices are where you’ll find a company’s posture on Privacy related topics. Dteckt keeps Privacy Policies on record for all companies that are covered to make it easy to review. It’s generally worth just a quick look. There are some companies out there that don’t even have a Privacy Policy or Notice on their website. This often leads to questionable Privacy and Security practices.


Opt In And Opt Out Of Information Sharing


Throughout the sign up process for consuming a service, you should be given the opportunity to Opt In or Out of Information Sharing (if the company is sharing your information). Keep a close eye out as companies who share your information may want to make it more difficult for you to find the opt out section. If you opt out, they can’t share your information which means less marketing revenue.


Unsubscribing From Marketing Emails


There are laws in the United States that allow you to opt out of all marketing emails, texts, and phone calls. There should be a link in all marketing email campaigns for you too unsubscribe. The CAN-SPAM act was passed in 2003 which requires this of companies operating in the United States. Take advantage to reduce your mailbox noise if you find the marketing emails annoying. Do be cautious. There are email phishing attacks that try to drive you to click unsubscribe links so they can steal information. If it isn’t as simple as click unsubscribe (and the email domain is legitimate), it may be phishing. Never enter your information in on random websites. use known networks and take matters into your own hands and secure your computer or mobile device.

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