Why Successful Startups Care About Privacy Resources… And Why You Should Too!

The internet has become an international hub for communication and innovation. As a consequence, it is now also the largest database of information, we all contribute our bit to the ocean of data that lives online. This is our reality, and many consumers out there are not properly informed.

As an organization that exists through services provided to customers, it is your responsibility to properly inform and resource them. Not only so that they understand how you manage and protect their data, but so that they can be empowered to make better decisions about how they share and expose it.

Where To Start?

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Building an external awareness strategy has different implications than those for building an internal awareness program. When you cultivate awareness externally, you don’t have the same resources or influence in place that exist within your organization. External awareness is about using marketing strategies to build confidence within your customer base.

The GDPR has no certification schemes that can stamp your business as compliant. It requires strategically placed resources that follow your brand’s voice and feel authentic.

The most important part is to ensure your resources speak to your audience

For example, the children’s privacy policy at Walt Disney’s website has too much technical lingo. Kids are unlikely to engage with this content and won’t learn anything about data privacy from it. They are losing an opportunity to educate future consumers on their rights.

Picture this: what if this privacy policy was an episode containing iconic Disney characters that explain what privacy means in a way kids will, both, understand and engage with the content. An organization of this size has the resources to make this happen easily.

Now… ask yourself this: Do your privacy policies feel genuine and engaging? Have they been built with the intention to be skipped over or with no intention at all?

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If you are unsure, that means you have something to address. As businesses around the world continue to realize the importance of managing their privacy obligations, your customers will become more inquisitive and will expect there to be information on your website about how their personal data is managed.

But why are some hotshot companies really investing in building beautiful resources and branding around their data protection strategies?

It’s simple, they can foresee how privacy will become more strictly regulated, while also understanding its value as a market differentiator.

With Google’s recent hit, a fine of £44m. A fine for failing to provide users with transparent and understandable information on its data use policies. With the CNIL claiming that Google made it too difficult for users to find essential information, “such as the data-processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories of personal data used for the ads personalisation”, by splitting them across multiple documents, help pages and settings screens.

Cases like this set a clear precedent on how decisions are made when a company is fined for non-compliance related to their resource availability.

This incident is also generating buzz, adding to the increase in global awareness. Now many other countries (Australia & Brazil for example) are adopting data protection laws similar to the GDPR. All of this goes to show that privacy regulations are here to stay.

What’s In It For Your Business?

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Much like when the now dreaded, Facebook, came into existence, there where many companies which understood the value it had in marketing and building relationships with your customers right from the start. Many of them, were able to take advantage by getting experience on what worked and what didn’t when using Facebook as a marketing tool, simply, they were ahead of the game by the time it boomed.

This is what is happening with data protection right now, it will eventually be something all businesses across the world will have to comply with. The internet, as well, isn’t going anywhere and these regulations will continue to ensure that all of us retain our reasonable right to privacy.

Here we share some example of privacy centers that we have found valuable and inspiring while building our own. They fit perfectly with the brand and tone, while also being a great knowledge base of information that you would definitely appreciate as a privacy-aware customer.

Meetup

Meetup’s privacy center is a true beauty. Their privacy policy is a great example of digestible content. To make it easier for website visitors to navigate, they add a summary box for each section of their privacy policy, here you will find what you need to know about each section without having to comb through large amounts of technical content.

They’ve also centralized all of their policies and legal resources into one page, making it easier for website visitors to navigate between policies to get the information that they need with just a couple of clicks.

Stripe

Stripe’s resources are brilliant! They have clear definitions of what the GDPR is and how it applies to Stripe specifically. Through their privacy center, Stripe takes you through a compliance checklist, ticking every box in the GDPR that speaks about resources and their availability. This is a perfect example of how you market your compliance to auditors and future clients.

PartnerHero

Now it’s time for a shameless plug. PartnerHero is an outsourcing company with a unique company culture and a global reach, with offices in Boise, Honduras and Berlin, to name a few. We design cross-cultural relationships, and our approach to privacy by design focuses on building compliant relationships with our partners and associates from the start.

Our privacy center is built for our audience, the amazing humans and partners that make up our business. Through it, we seek to educate and empower people to understand their rights and be able to exercise them.

Feel free to dive into our privacy center, we hope it inspires you to improve your own or serve as a starting point!

Most companies approach privacy as many of us go about exercise, we know it’s really good for us and has only benefits, yet we keep putting it off for tomorrow or we don’t invest the time and resources we need to start seeing results. If you remain in an unhealthy cycle of ignoring your privacy obligations your business will eventually suffer the consequences.

Are you ready to do something about it?

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See you next time!