Digital Ethics & Privacy

The question that’s on everyone’s mind regarding their personal information is, “Am I safe?” As the news spreads stories of data leaks and privacy invasions, the average citizen is worried. Public awareness of this growing concern has made it to the top of tech trends in 2019, according to analyst Gartner. From phone apps to in-store purchases, everyone wants your name, number, email address, date of birth, physical address, and more.

Business owners are faced with reassuring consumers that their data is protected and being used in the correct manner. Adjusting to data privacy and digital ethics is a constant evolution between sellers and buyers. There are many issues to address and different ways to go about it. It’s an ongoing process.

Knowing where your data is and why you have it has never been more critical from both a strategy, operational and compliance perspective. Data needs to be stored and managed in a way so it is clean and accessible for analysis and learning – to tackle business issues in real-time.

Five Global Trends in Data Ethics and Privacy in 2019 Barbara Lawler, Chief Data Privacy and Ethics Officer at Looker

Gaining Trust from Customers

Trust is a challenging thing to gain from the general public. Not only will you as a business owner have to develop a plan for handling personal data and translating that in layman’s terms, but you’ll also have to reassure the general public your company is true to their word.

In efforts to regulate the usage and collection of personal information, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers themselves to be the “Top Cop” when regulating internet privacy in the US. The government has plans to mandate how companies handle personal information, and you can develop processes of privacy protection too.

Could you add another compliance standard to your security measures, even if you don’t process the type of data or work with the organizations or countries specified in the mandate? Are you auditing yourself internally and/or with external auditors?

The Growing Importance of Digital Ethics, Transparency, and Privacy by Shawn Mills 

What Can You Do?

Transparency is key to maintaining an honest relationship between consumers and suppliers. If one of your companies core competencies includes collecting personal information for leads or service usage, it’s important to take the time to explain concisely to your shoppers how their data is going to be stored and used within your company.

Hire the right employees. When a company has access to a mass amount of personal data, there is always the possibility that within that company there may be a bad egg. Entrepreneurs are fully responsible for hiring the right people and ensuring they’re trustworthy. Digital Ethics should be part of the interview process with regulatory training constantly implemented.

Keep updated on network security. Not only will this be beneficial to you as the business owner, but by having updated security on collected data is a powerful tool in gaining the trust of your consumer. It enforces the value of their information and the gravity to which you’ll protect it.

It’s important to not only learn about digital ethics and privacy but to understand and implement it. You can learn more about these solutions by consulting experts in the IT field, such as The Network Operations Company (The NOC), located in St. Augustine, Florida.

Photo by Paulin