Online privacy is a growing concern. In the past five years, data-privacy focused laws have pushed websites and social media platforms to be transparent with what they do with users’ data. These laws have also highlighted awareness to consumers who did not know what information was collected or where it was going.
In 2018, the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. The GDPR is a European Union (EU) law that protects how an individual’s personal information is gathered, stored, and used. Recently, the California Consumer Policy Act prompted numerous businesses to update their privacy policies. The CCPA protects the privacy rights of California residents.
With consumer privacy trending, it is important for small businesses to update their website privacy policies. Doing so will add a measure of protection against legal threats but also serve as good customer service and business practice.
Each of the privacy laws mentioned in the outset has specific criteria that make businesses susceptible to the law or not. For example, the GDPR applies to any business the collects or processes data of EU residents or provides paid or non-paid goods and services to EU residents. One criterion for the CCPA is that the business receives or shares personal info of 50,000 or more California residents.
If a business does not meet the law’s criteria, they may feel it’s not necessary to comply. However, it is good business practice to let your audience know what data you are collecting, where it is stored, who will have access to it, and how you use it. Make it a habit to be respectful of your customers’ personal information. Demonstrate transparency, honesty, and ethics in every facet of your business.
Furthermore, pay close attention to each privacy law’s criteria. Even if you’re a small business, the CCPA could apply to you if you 50,000 website visitors from California or on your email list. Many states in the US are working toward data privacy laws. Will you be ready for such changes or scrambling to comply?