It certainly is understandable that consumers are very concerned about data privacy, whether they provide personal information online, or whether they use other mechanisms to provide personal information to companies and organizations with which they interact. One need only to read a few horror stories about the difficulties that arise out of identity theft or a data breach scenario, to understand why consumers want protection.
Most companies want to protect the private information their customers provide to them because they understand it’s simply a part of maintaining a good reputation with the public. If a company neglects protecting customer privacy, they won’t remain in business for long. The problem that seems to be occurring more and more, is that all the protections businesses routinely use, don’t seem to fully resolve privacy issues.
Government to the Rescue?
In May of 2018, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation which states that all companies who collect data on Union residents are responsible for protecting such data. Of course, large companies will likely have an easier time following such a regulation due to their extensive resources. For small businesses however, these types of regulations and their associated price tags, may very well represent a real challenge to their ability to remain profitable.
In the U.S. there has been some effort to enact laws to ensure data privacy, although none so comprehensive as the European Union’s, GDPR legislation.
Small Business Challenges
If more comprehensive legislation is passed here in the U.S., some of the challenges small to medium-sized businesses may face include: impeded growth or the inability to even start a business due to excessive regulation, the absorption of higher technology costs passed down from large companies, multiple ramifications stemming from a potential mandatory business overhaul, along with the simple inability to incorporate additional privacy costs into an already lean budget.
If you would like to know more about the potential for data privacy regulations here in the U.S., please contact us.