Tightening Government Privacy Laws Multiplies the Challenges of Online Marketers

    Privacy Laws, Government

    As high-tech products evolve, governments of different countries are tightening privacy laws to protect individual data. Although this is beneficial for consumers, it may spell trouble for online marketers as they struggle for true identities to grow their businesses.

    As cyberspace expands and security concerns increase, the government is tightening security regulations to protect people’s privacy. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went stringent in the European Union last August. The GDPR was established to enable consumers to protect their data, now has turned rigid about giving companies explicit consent to obtain personal information. The states have followed a well-drafted suit, with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) scheduled to take effect on January 2020. This is termed as the most ambitious privacy law enacted by any state in the U.S. till date—and companies must adjust and prepare for more future changes like these. Data privacy is essential, but it sometimes cost a lot to business progress and personalized customer experience that remains the primary concern of all marketers.

    The CCPA is set to change a few elements of the data collection process:

    Ownership – It grants consumers ownership of their data by giving them the right to choose whom to share with and what to share.

    Security – It makes companies responsible for the protection of their customer data.

    Control – It gives consumers complete control over the personal information that is collected about them. They are in full authority to refuse to share any specific personal data if they wish to.

    Many believe that such strict legislation on security and privacy at the state level eventually will raise the penalties against incidences of privacy failures for many companies nationwide.

    It is not just government agencies who are cracking down, but consumers themselves are also more reluctant to share their personal information. A survey by Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) concluded that out of a 1,000-person surveyed, U.S. consumers are less likely to share personal information in 2019 than they were a year ago. According to this survey, the number of people willing to share their house address fell from 41% to 31% from 2018 to 2019. There was a steep fall in people willing to share the name of their spouse o-from 41% to 33%. Meanwhile, only 54% said they were willing to share their email address—down from 61% last year. Another survey even found that 31% of Americans are unwilling to give out personal information under any circumstances.

    Increased security laws, along with consumer reluctance to share personal information, makes the job of the marketer more cumbersome. Experts urge for balanced data regulations in the present and also in the future. As B2B companies update consumer-preference as per marketing styles where they target audience based on their personal preferences as much as their career description and company details, these regulations will become more of a barrier.

    Companies should use more time to review new regulation and make sure that the current databases are compliant. Firms need to determine if the rule applies to the existing business, using the following as a guideline:

    • Assign a person or team responsible for overseeing compliance with the regulations.
    • Update the privacy notices and policies.
    • Review the data security to prevent breaches.
    • Update the way to collect and store data for compliance.
    • Create Processes for Data Access and Deletion.