I’m not selling my data. Why do I need to comply?

In the modern digital landscape, one of the frustrations we face daily is the question of data privacy, or the lack thereof. As the world becomes more connected than ever, online privacy has become somewhat of a footnote, and serious concerns are being raised in various forums at every level.

Modern businesses that heavily rely on the internet collect necessary user data to customize and tailor their products and services to suit their target demography’s tastes and preferences. However, it’s been observed that in the absence of strict data privacy laws, these data sets can end up in the wrong hands. This can lead to anything from spam messages to profiling and hack attacks. 

Businesses need a certain amount of data regarding their customers and markets to grow and thrive. In the absence of these data sets, they wouldn’t be able to customize their offerings to suit tastes and preferences. There must be a balancing act, and this is where data privacy laws come into effect. Outright banning everything isn’t possible. Businesses need to comply with these laws even if they do not sell the data to a third party. This helps keep them in compliance with existing regulations that were drawn up to protect customer privacy and rights. 

Certain tools and services can help businesses boost their reach, gauge market reception, tastes and more, but no matter how lucrative they may seem, there are certain drawbacks that these services possess. Data security is one of the most significant. Let’s take a look. 

The data escape!

Businesses call for a large number of data sets that they can then analyse to draw up suitable marketing, product development, selling strategies and more. This is where several tools come into the picture. 

  • Semrush- For businesses, boosting visibility and drawing up the right marketing strategy is important to grow at the desired pace, and this is where something like Semrush can help. They provide comprehensive marketing and visibility solutions for brands to grow their audience base, engagement rates, etc. Unfortunately, applications like Semrush collect a wide range of user data that may end up in the hands of third parties, either purposely or unknowingly. When something like this happens, the repercussions that stakeholders must experience aren’t favourable. 
  • Google Analytics- When it comes to collecting user data to use for analysis and gauging the market trend, Google analytics is at the absolute top. Be it tracking viral topics or market trends and what people around the world are searching for, Google knows it all. This is largely in part due to the scale at which Google operates, and the amount of data it possesses regarding its users. 

Any business that employs these systems are inadvertently opening the floodgates to the data sets that they have collected from their valued clients. These services and software tools can use them, even if the business isn’t selling them directly. This why it’s so critical to have a good data protection system in place. The absence of such a system can leave the business vulnerable to non-compliance, customer backlash, legal proceedings and more.

Two of the most significant data privacy laws that are regarded as the gold standard in this field are the GDPR and CCPA. Here, we will be looking at these laws, and answer the question as we proceed. So, let’s start. 

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a data protection regulation set enforced by the European Union. It is widely considered one of the best sets of data protection laws in place today. There are 11 chapters in the GDPR, and these encompass subjects like general provisions, principles, duties of data controllers or processors and more. Similar data protection acts have been enforced all over the world, and GDPR compliance is mandatory for businesses operating within its ambit. The law aims to enhance data protection and privacy while defending against a potentially damaging data breach. 

CCPA

Witnessing the essentiality of something like the GDPR, several nations and governments around the world started to feel the need for something similar for their areas as well. The CCPA is one such regulation. Expanded as the California Consumer Privacy Act, this is a ground-breaking milestone in the field of American data protection. Every business that falls within its ambit needs to follow CCPA compliance. 

Compliance with data management and protection law offers several benefits for businesses, even if they do not sell the data that they have collected to third parties, and these are as follows: 

  • Easier process automation- When the laws were first rolled out, several businesses came under its ambit, and it became mandatory for them to adhere to these data privacy laws. They scrutinized their processes and operational efficiency, and this closer inspection helped them identify chinks and inefficiencies. Several business processes were automated to ensure data management and GDPR compliance. This change helped them grow and make their operations more profitable than ever before. 
  • Improved trust and credibility- The fifth article of GDPR includes seven fundamental principles. A business that adheres to these principles would enjoy a high level of trust and brand credibility amongst its target group of customers. As the question of data protection and data privacy becomes more and more important with each passing day, GDPR and CCPA compliance would help businesses flourish, even if they aren’t in the business of selling data. 
  • A better understanding of the collected data- Before the advent of such a data protection law, companies would collect the data sets rather randomly. They weren’t analysed properly, and several impurities messed up the process as well. Once these laws came into effect, the dynamics changed instantly. Things like better engagement and conversion rates could be achieved with the newer data sets, and the advantages became obvious quite soon. Various departments started to use these data sets to their advantage, and the overall operating efficiency rose significantly.
  • An even playing field- In the modern commercial scenario, inequalities between businesses are rampant, and businesses that hoarded the data generated more sales and grew faster. The introduction of data privacy laws levelled the playing field, and every business stands a fair chance, at least when it comes to data. 

Final take:

Data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA ensure that customer data is protected from breaches and managed properly. These laws offer several benefits for businesses that aren’t related to data selling, and the entire community benefits from these legislations.

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