How to Prioritize Data Privacy in Small Businesses - Purple Fox Legal

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How to Prioritize Data Privacy in Small Businesses


By Purple Fox Legal

July 6, 2022

In today’s digital environment, privacy is more important than ever before. This is especially true for small business owners who collect new information every single day. But, with so much available, it can be hard to know how to handle all this data in a way that respects the privacy of everyone involved. 

In this article, we discuss data privacy and the steps small businesses can take to prioritize it. Then, we’ll share some information all small business owners should know about data protection and ways they can implement it into their business practices starting today. 

What is Data Privacy and Protection?

Also known as information privacy, data privacy and protection refers to the practice of handling sensitive and personal data appropriately. It defines a relationship between an entity that collects data and the individual who expects it to remain private. 

For the most part, data privacy applies to personally identifiable information or personal health information. It can include data like: 

  • Social security numbers 
  • Medical records
  • Full names
  • Addresses 

Ways to Prioritize Data Privacy in Your Small Business

It can be difficult for small business owners to know how to get started with securing data and keeping it private. Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission contains an entire section dedicated to data protection and security to help you begin prioritizing it. Before reading about everything from mobile apps to securing business Internet of Things, here are two ways you can begin prioritizing data privacy today. 

  1. Take Steps to Protect Your Business

Before you can ever begin protecting the data that your customers share, it’s important to secure any data your business already possesses. With the right methods in place, you can guarantee that any data you collect in the future will be handled the right way. Some actionable steps for securing your business data are to: 

  • Protect Against Malware
  • Secure your Network
  • Prioritize Password Security
  • Dispose Data Properly
  • Encrypt Everything
  • Train Employees Appropriately
  1. Assess the Way You Collect and Process Information

When was the last time you stopped to assess your business’ data collection and processing practices? Do you know the risks that you’re creating by simply conducting everyday business procedures? If not, it’s time to conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). The DPIA is important for investigating, addressing, and mitigating potential data security risks that take place in your small business. And, one should be conducted before each and every project that collects consumer data. 

The goal of conducting a DPIA is to strengthen your business practices and identify areas that could be improved upon. And, when conducted early, this can help you put your business on the right road from the beginning. According to the GDPR, it’s important for a DPIA to include:

  • The description and purpose of the project
  • The necessity of collecting sensitive data for the project
  • An assessment of all possible risks associated with the collection of that data
  • An explanation for how those risks will be mitigated 

Is Data Privacy a Priority for Your Small Business?

How seriously does your small business take data privacy? Your customers and employees care about the subject so much more than you might imagine. In fact, some important things all small business owners should know about data privacy are that:

  • Data is important to business success
  • You have a legal responsibility to keep data secure
  • Your business has an ethical responsibility to secure consumer data
  • Organized data helps you save money
  • You should have a plan for when things go wrong

Maintaining data privacy is a critical component of operating a lawful, successful small business. However, navigating this branch of business operations can be overwhelming. 

Consulting with a business attorney can help set your startup off on the right foot and guarantee your data (and your customers’ data) remains protected and secure. Purple Fox Legal can help. Contact us today to learn more.