Data is king in the digital world. Businesses rely on data including sales information and market statistics to ensure commercial success.
Consumer data is also playing an increasing role in business. Businesses can tailor ads, experiences and products to individuals. However, there are many concerns and risks surrounding the use and protection of consumer data that business owners must understand.
Crackdowns on commercial surveillance and security
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a public forum to air its concerns about commercial surveillance and the potential misuse of consumer data. If businesses track, monetize and share the personal data they collect from their consumers, they could face serious issues, including:
- Legal action from the FTC
- Lawsuits from consumers
- Damage to their reputation
In some cases, even employees might take legal action against businesses if their personal data is put at risk due to a lack of security. Cybersecurity is an increasing area of note in this digital age. Business owners are aware of this. However, the FTC emphasized the importance of making rules to ensure cybersecurity is up to par.
A lack of cybersecurity measures is already a risk for business operations as well as their intellectual property. Now, it could lead to even more legal concerns as the FTC and consumers alike keep a close eye on how businesses use data.
So, what steps should businesses take?
In response to the concerns regarding data surveillance, business owners should make sure that they:
- Update and maintain cybersecurity measures
- Train employees properly, as the Federal Communications Commission states
- Establish policies to secure and protect personal data from consumers
- Comply with various state laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
Digital security is just as important as physical security measures nowadays. Business owners must ensure they stay up to date with these measures to protect personal data – as well as their business as a whole.