5 min read
Here’s Why Every Small Biz Needs A Privacy Lead
By: Josephine Yam, J.D., LLM., MA Phil (AI Ethics) 2/14/23 1:05 PM
As a startup or small business owner, you have a million and one things to keep track of: developing your product, growing your customer base, and maintaining your finances in order. But in this day and age, one thing you can’t afford to ignore is privacy.
You’ve probably heard of data breaches making headlines and causing significant damage to big companies. But did you know that small businesses are more vulnerable to attacks than their larger counterparts? That’s right, hackers often target small businesses because they assume they have weaker security measures.
So, what can you do to protect your customers’ personal information and your business’s reputation? One solution is to appoint a privacy lead.
A privacy lead is a person who is responsible for overseeing your privacy management program. They are your company’s point of contact for all matters regarding privacy compliance. They will ensure your company is moving forward in its privacy accountability journey.
Why do you need a privacy lead?
- Stay compliant with privacy laws and regulations.
Several laws and regulations worldwide dictate how companies can collect, store, and use personal information. These laws are constantly changing, so it’s essential to have someone in your company who is up-to-date on the latest developments and can ensure your business is compliant. Your privacy lead will oversee that your company correctly handles the personal data of your customers in compliance with all the privacy laws where you operate.
- Protect your customers’ personal information.
Your customers trust you with their personal information, and it’s your responsibility to ensure it’s safe. A privacy lead can help you implement the best privacy and security practices and ensure suitable systems are in place to prevent privacy violations. With a privacy lead, you will have the necessary expertise to ensure that your company complies with privacy regulations relating to personal data.
- Build trust with customers.
Taking privacy seriously isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore - it’s becoming essential for businesses to gain the trust of their customers. Showing your commitment with an actual privacy lead is one way to stand out from competitors! By having a privacy lead, you’re demonstrating to your customers that you take their privacy seriously. This can help build trust with them and set you apart from businesses that don’t prioritize privacy.
- Avoid costly penalties.
Don’t let hefty fines be the end of your business! By appointing a privacy lead, you can ensure that your organization complies with laws and regulations, avoiding penalties for non-compliance. Keep yourself in the clear by protecting precious customer data! By having a privacy lead, you’re making sure you’re not putting your business at risk of these penalties.
So, how do you appoint a privacy lead?
- Determine your needs.
The first step is to determine your business needs for a privacy lead. How much personal information do you collect? If you collect and store more than 25,000 consumer data, you may need a full-time person with expertise in privacy laws. You may need a part-time person to oversee your privacy program if you collect less than that.
- Look for the right person.
Once you know what you need, start looking for the right person. This could be someone you already have on your team or someone you need to bring in from the outside. Ideally, your privacy lead has a legal, privacy, risk, or compliance background.
- Give them the resources they need.
A privacy lead can only do their job effectively if they have the necessary resources. Ensure they have the budget, technology, and privacy compliance support team to carry out their responsibilities.
In conclusion, you have a lot on your plate as a startup or small business. But you can’t afford to ignore privacy. Appointing a privacy lead is essential to protecting your customers’ personal information, staying compliant with privacy laws and regulations, building trust with customers, and avoiding costly penalties.