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Outdated Privacy Policy Or Haven't Adopted A Privacy Policy Yet? Why Organizations Need An Up-to-Date Privacy Policy Now More Than Ever Before

Virtually every industry, at every level of the global economy, has become increasingly technology-centric in recent years. This technological centricity has given rise to certain standardized expectations and norms within almost all industries. These norms, which may take the form of statutes, regulations, market standards, third-party certifications, and the like, increasingly demand increased transparency, especially in the areas of data collection and processing. Notably, there has been an increasing rise in states adopting legislation to provide stricter governance and protections of data privacy. In working to meet these increasingly common norms and expectations, organizations should be prepared to adopt and update a privacy policy. Read below to see some of the primary reasons why your organization should be looking to adopt or update a privacy policy.

Compliance with Law

State laws regarding privacy laws and policies continue to grow and change. Today, an increasing number of states have adopted data privacy laws that include requirements for consumer notification, disclosure, and implementation of certain data protections. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. Many more states have introduced similar bills, so even if your organization is not currently impacted due to a lack of state law, it may not be long until it is.

Additionally, certain federal requirements, such as Federal Trade Commission prohibitions on unfair and deceptive acts, touch upon privacy requirements. In publishing a privacy policy, organizations are able to communicate their privacy practices explicitly and clearly, which can help eliminate consumer confusion and ensure that your organization continues to present its data practices in a transparent and easy-to-understand way.

Building Trust with Customers

Providing an updated privacy policy helps to foster positive and trusting relationships between providers and their customers. Now more than ever, when customers visit a website for the first time, they expect the website provider to provide an up-to-date privacy policy that clearly communicates the provider’s privacy practices. The omission of a privacy policy or the inclusion of an outdated privacy policy can be, for some consumers, the difference between choosing one provider or a competitor. Being transparent through updated policies can build trust with the customers and generally aid in improving your organization’s reputation in protecting customer’s private information and complying with privacy laws.

Engaging with Business Partners

If customers are paying attention to the privacy practices of entities that they interact with, then you can be assured that current and potential business partners are being even more attentive to these issues. It has become increasingly common for prospective partners to request that organizations make certain warranties or representations regarding their privacy practices. Many times, these warranties and representations require organizations to assert that they have comprehensive privacy and security measures in place or that they have passed certain third-party audits or acquired certain certifications. Implementing an updated privacy policy is often the first step in this process. If an organization wholly lacks any internal data protection framework, it is not unheard of for a potential partner to cease negotiations with such an organization, especially when the proposed engagement is to involve the exchange of personal information.

Staying Up-to-Date with Advancements in Technology and Law

Once a business has adopted a privacy policy, maintaining the policy naturally leads to the organization maintaining an increased awareness of developments in technology and law. By taking the time to consider the implications of adopting and maintaining a privacy policy, organizations instinctively recognize soft spots and strengths within their organization’s risk management and compliance structure, which inevitably leads to the organization becoming better equipped for any future advancements in technology and law.

Contact one of the privacy experts in McGrath North’s Privacy and Cybersecurity team for all questions relating to your organization’s privacy practices and policies.