Businesses Encouraged to Support National Privacy Day on January 28, 2015

Wednesday, January 28 is the eighth annual Data Privacy Day, sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, or NCSA. The goal is to encourage all types of businesses and organizations to work toward a culture of privacy online.

The elements of privacy advocated include:

  • initiating transparent data collection
  • using the data in safe, transparent ways
  • offering controls that are easy for consumers to figure out and use to manage their info
  • educating consumers

NCSA is leading the effort. It is the leading nonprofit partnership connecting the public and private sectors in a drive to advocate for effective safety and security on the internet. The group took the leadership role in 2011 for Data Privacy Day, using the motto “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.”

Consumer Worries

According to Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director, “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about their privacy online . . . We can build a safer, more trusted internet if everyone works in collaboration.”

He feels that the internet will only reach its full potential when companies strengthen their online practices that make privacy and security primary for consumers. Emerging concerns include the safety of personal health information and the new technology involved in the Internet of Things.

A Real Need for Privacy Practices

Sadly, over 43% of North American businesses have experienced a data breach at one time. More than 50% of all adults in the U.S. have had their personal information laid bare by hackers.

With statistics like this, it is essential to educate online consumers about the danger and to reassure them by adopting effective safety measures.

It also points out the need for companies doing business only to have cyber liability insurance. This can help with the major costs involved in contacting the consumers affected by hackers, healing your damaged business reputation and expanding your security measures.

Privacy and Safety Best Practices

The NCSA recommends the following actions, developed by experts in the areas of civil society, non-profit, industry and government.

Consider implementing these tips when you do business online:

  • protect what you collect, safe from access by unauthorized users
  • let customers know exactly what you will do with their information
  • be clear about your company’s privacy policy
  • promote a culture of privacy at your business
  • reach out to consumers to educate them about your safety and privacy practices. Don’t simply bury it deep in your website’s privacy policy.
  • oversee your vendors and partners to make sure they are implementing privacy policies