Businesses can no longer afford to snap up as much customer data as possible. With the introduction of extensive privacy laws, your organization has to be more strategic. Additionally, an effective approach to privacy involves more than just legal compliance. Customers in an increasingly privacy-savvy culture have specific expectations of how you’ll treat their data, and may even switch to a competitor if your practices don’t satisfy them. So, what should your response be?
First and foremost, your business should prioritize one of the most important principles in privacy laws worldwide: consent. Almost every privacy law requires customer consent as a prerequisite for personalized marketing. By embracing the consent requirements enshrined in-laws, your company will also demonstrate that you respect customer choices in general.
From a slightly more profit-focused perspective: honoring customer consent, and being upfront about how you do so, is just good for business. Customers will appreciate your transparency and be more likely to trust you with sensitive data. You can then use this data to create personalized marketing campaigns for individual people based on what you know they like, instead of sending out generic messages and hoping something sticks. Customers that receive personalized messages are more likely to purchase what you’re advertising and, even better, less likely to unsubscribe. Everybody wins.
But consent tracking isn’t something that can easily be done with standard office programs. There’s far too much data to store, updates to track, changes to make, and legal requirements to follow. You also have to be able to prove that the data was collected legally—even as privacy laws change more and more frequently. Without keeping track of when, where, how, and why a customer’s personal information was collected, how can you protect your company from legal challenges or fines?
The smartest way to do so is to use a consent management platform such as 4Comply. This software not only tracks customer consent but also allows you to see and plan for relevant privacy regulations at a glance. But tracking customer consent isn’t the only job your privacy team will have to deal with. Why else do you need a reliable consent management platform? Let’s look at several prominent reasons.
Every year, at least one new privacy law makes headlines and more are proposed. Existing laws change too as they try to keep up with new business practices frowned upon by privacy and consumer advocates, and changing customer preferences. Legal expectations for privacy are constantly changing.
But sometimes, it’s not the law that changes. Remember that earlier this year, the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework itself—a consent management setup created specifically to adhere to the GDPR—was found in violation of EU privacy law. New interpretations or applications of existing laws can have just as much of an impact as a brand-new law. In either case, you need a reliable consent management platform to keep track of these changes and stay compliant.
Additionally, remember that sometimes enforcement doesn’t officially begin until a while after privacy laws are passed. (The CDPA is an excellent example, as it was signed into law in March 2021 but has an effective date of January 1, 2023.) You may be tempted to avoid implementing changes until an upcoming deadline forces you to, but this is a terrible idea. Huge changes don’t happen overnight. If you wait until the last possible second to design and roll out your new privacy plan, you’ll almost inevitably miss the deadline and find yourself subject to significant fines and penalties.
This is another reason why customer consent tracking is so vitally important. By having a working consent management platform already in place, you’ve effectively given yourself insurance against future privacy issues. You may still have to change a few things with the passing of a new law. However, you’ll only have to make changes to your existing system rather than create an entirely new one from scratch overnight.
Customers’ priorities change with time. And while most of these priorities simply become less important with time, data privacy is very much in its heyday. Gartner summed it up thusly:
Privacy is becoming a reason for consumers to purchase a product, in the same way, that “organic,” “free trade” and “cruelty-free” labels have driven products sales in the past decade.
In other words, customers will seek out and give business to companies that prioritize the same values they do. This principle holds true even as those values shift. And with data privacy currently in the spotlight, you can’t afford to stall.
No one wants a scandal. Unfortunately, scandals seem to be a dime a dozen now, especially in the privacy field. And data breaches that result in mass identity theft aren’t the only problem. Mishandling customer data results in that data being spread farther than the customer ever wanted, and being used for purposes they had never intended. This can result in everything from an inbox full of advertisement emails to doxing. Your company will come under fire for not respecting the customers’ request for data usage and thus find your reputation damaged. A software solution designed to keep you in compliance with the law can prevent this from happening.
Get ahead of every privacy challenge with 4Comply’s user-friendly setup. Your privacy team can easily integrate new privacy requirements and your company’s own policies into the system, allowing you to see all your capabilities at a glance. 4Comply gives you everything you need to stay compliant with privacy laws and show your customers that you respect their private data. Best of all, you can prove your compliance with a built-in activity tracker that can be showcased on demand. Ready to start improving? Schedule a free 4Comply demo today!