Data – it’s your single most valuable business asset. With the right data, you can make informed decisions. You can reach specific audience segments with targeted messages. You can discover what your audience is doing online, where they’re spending their time, and what your competitors are doing that you can do better. However, in an age when data is the key to business success, it is increasingly regulated in order to protect consumers. In fact, data collection regulations can present a number of challenges to your business.
The State of Data Collection Regulations
As more and more businesses attempt to leverage consumer-focused data to help build their brand and profitability, the need to protect consumer privacy increases. A number of regulations have been enacted to help ensure that is the case. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) is one example. Another is the California Consumer Privacy Act. Both of these spell out how businesses can access, store, and use consumer information.
Data Collection Challenges to Your Business
While you might think that any effort aimed at making it more difficult for others to get their hands on your company’s data, or for businesses to misuse, is a good thing, it’s not quite so clear cut. There are many issues that might impact your business:
- Compliance. Complying with regulations can require a significant investment of time and money on your part. Even then, if you are not 100% sure of your responsibilities when it comes to how you interact with consumer information, you could still find yourself on the wrong side of those regulations. For example, the EU’s data protection regulation is a lot like California’s. However, that resemblance is only superficial. If you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find that they are very different. For business owners, this means that complying with one regulation does not necessarily mean compliance with others.
- Applicability. As mentioned, not all data collection regulations apply equally to all businesses. You’ll need to spend the time necessary to determine which regulations apply to your firm, and to what extent.
- Compliance Does Not Guarantee Security. Compliance and security are two different things. Compliance with the regulations does not guarantee data security. Too many business owners are under the assumption that if they comply with data collection regulations, their systems are secure. That’s not the case. You need to take steps to comply with applicable regulations, while simultaneously ensuring that you have cybersecurity solutions in place that are suited not just for your business, but for the industry in which you operate.
What is the Next Step?
Data collection is a complicated issue, but essential to the well-being of your business or practice. The right IT partner or consultant can help ensure that you are in compliance with the rules that apply to you, and can show you solutions that are practical. For more information, tap or click to call WCA Technologies now at (212) 642-0980.