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Legislators regularly introduce and pass laws designed to protect the personal information people provide to companies and to regulate how companies can use that personal information. But how does a consumer feel about a business’s responsibility to protect their personal information?
GetApp1 in the summer of 2022 conducted a survey on consumer privacy on the Internet. Surveyed over 1,000 adult Canadian consumers who shopped online at least once a month. The results are clear: consumers expect companies to protect their personal information, and their decision to do business with a company is influenced by its data protection practices.
Interesting and informative findings from the GetApp survey that businesses should take note of include:
- 33% of respondents said they are more concerned about the data privacy practices of online companies compared to last year.
- 41% of respondents said that companies are responsible for online privacy (while 35% believe that the federal government is responsible).
- 79% of respondents noted that consumers consider a company’s data privacy practices when deciding whether to do business with it. 19% of consumers “always” research a company’s reputation for data privacy before doing business with it.
- In the context of interacting with a company for the first time, 67% agreed to share their personal information with a company if it would lead to better and more efficient services or products. Willingness to share personal information was influenced by the type of information disclosed.
- More than half of respondents – 56% – said they would rather pay for a service than share personal information.
- A slight majority of surveyed consumers – 56% – indicated that they are confident that their personal information provided to an online company is safe. However, 33% partially disagree, and 10% strongly disagree. Only 7% said they were very confident in the security of their information.
Clearly, compliance with the law is an important reason for a privacy management program and data security safeguards. However, more compelling for a company is that failure to do so can cost you sales and lose customer trust in your company.
The following are the components of the privacy management program:
- A privacy officer who is responsible for the development and implementation of the organization’s privacy controls and their ongoing monitoring.
- Inventory of personal information.
- Policies, including collection, use and disclosure of personal information, consent requirements, and retention and deletion of personal information.
- Control of administrative, physical and technological security.
- Risk assessment tools.
- Training and education requirements for employees and contractors.
- Breach and Incident Response Procedures.
- Service provider management, including data protection agreements.
Long gone are the days when companies could ignore data management and security practices. This means unnecessarily exposing your organization to significant risks – both monetary and reputational.
1 GetApp is an online resource for companies exploring Software as a Service (SaaS) products.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject. You should seek specialist advice regarding your specific circumstances.
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