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Reasons You Simply Must Create a Data Privacy Policy

Did you know that the lack of a valid privacy policy could be putting your company at significant risk? More than just a legal requirement, privacy policies help refine your data storage and access strategies.  

If the thought of having to track down all the various data sources within your organization, classify and quantify them and then tightly regulate access gives you hives, you are not alone. Millions of business and technology professionals are wrestling with this issue in 2020, attempting to find a simple solution to the increasingly complex problem of data storage, usage and access. With hackers becoming more prolific in their attempts to gain control of systems and nearly 6% of Americans becoming a victim of privacy fraud each year, privacy policies are top of mind for companies of all sizes.

Data Privacy Policy in Houston Texas

Data Privacy Policy

Here are some of the key reasons that organizations are turning to their technology teams and external IT partners to define a comprehensive data policy that will cover a wide range of use cases.

1. You Are Gathering Sensitive Data Every Day (and May Not Realize It!)

Did you know that each time someone goes onto your website and fills out a lead generation form, you are capturing sensitive data? Even if all the individual shares with you is their name and email address, you now have access to several pieces of information that are valuable to hackers in their never-ending quest for information. If you are selling on your website, having strict access control procedures for staff members and a high degree of security for your databases becomes even more vital, because you could be storing everything from address information to credit cards within your business ecosystem.

2. Having a Privacy Policy Builds Customer Trust

There are certain basic expectations customers have when doing business with an organization: that they will receive value for their money, that there is some recourse if problems arise . . . and that the companies they trust are being careful with personal and confidential information. While this happened several years ago, consider the devastation that Target encountered after their data breach:

  • 70 million customer records were stolen
  • Hundreds of hours of coverage of the event — negative publicity that never goes away
  • $300 million+ cost to Target as a result of the breach
  • 46% drop in profits in the quarter after the breach occurred

Yes, it takes time and effort to put a privacy policy in place. With this type of incident high in the minds of customers, they are increasingly wary of providing their information to organizations that have not proven they are proactively approaching data privacy and aggressively securing personal data.

3. Data Privacy Policies are a Legal Imperative

While the federal government has not gone so far as to define a specific privacy policy for general data collection, several states have taken up the flag and are aggressively pursuing organizations that do not comply with their data privacy mandates. California is one of the most vocal proponents of privacy policies, but there are 10 other states that have also enacted laws to dictate efforts around cybersecurity, physical security and data breach notifications. If you have customers in any of these states, you are risking legal action by not taking steps to comply with the privacy policies that are in effect. California’s sweeping Consumer Privacy Act may be the most comprehensive, but other states are seeking ways to control how corporations collect and utilize consumer data.

Protecting your organization is becoming more complex, particularly in the realm of data privacy and security. Preparing a privacy policy using internal resources can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring staff members to get up-to-speed on the latest laws and compliance requirements while also performing daily activities. When you work with the professionals at ICS, you can be confident that your digital assets are being fully protected by individuals with a deep understanding of the current legal and security landscape. Contact ICS for all your business technology solutions needs at (281) 962-3058 in Houston, (210) 305-4087 in San Antonio or (512) 253-4135 in Austin to schedule your complimentary initial data review and consultation. As the most trusted IT services provider in these Texas communities, ICS supports organizations of all sizes — ensuring that you have the tools and expertise needed to confidently grow your business.