Data Protection Ethics: Why it goes beyond keeping information safe

15 Dec 2021

What do you know about data protection so far? For sure, you understand the importance of protecting customer information at all times. You may also have the measures to follow data privacy regulations and implement data security. But what if it goes beyond that? 

Utilizing your customer details in customer relationship management (CRM) goes beyond just gathering their data. You have to be thoughtful about which information is crucial to providing them with a good experience. One thing to do is avoid gathering unnecessary and extremely sensitive data. 

So what are the consequences when sensitive data gets breached? Cybint revealed that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are a result of human error. A study from Verizon showed that 88% of breaches were motivated by financial reasons while the 10% are on espionage.

Seeing the explanations above shows that as innovations grow, so does data. According to Gartner, the worldwide information security market is predicted to reach $170.4 billion by 2022. 

Privacy is precious, and that’s why you should protect it at all times. In guarding sensitive data, you have to begin by choosing the right data to keep. 

When Data Collection and Ethics Intertwine

When it comes to contact tracing and collecting other pandemic-related information, questions about morals come into mind. Is it morally right to gather this information to save lives or should we prioritize keeping their privacy? This is where Digital Ethics comes into play.

According to Zur Institute, Digital Ethics is the study of managing oneself in an ethical, clinical, and professional manner through mediums (online and digital). Basically, in comparison to data privacy, Digital Ethics focuses on doing the most moral thing with data.

Back in 2019, Gartner revealed that digital ethics is a top strategic technology trend. However, with the pandemic still ongoing, there are gray areas we have to deal with, especially with today’s working environment. It’s important to know what makes us cross the boundaries in privacy.

What makes the information essential to gather? 

Safety is always a top priority in the pandemic but when worse case scenarios come to mind, it will be prioritized before privacy concerns. It might seem like the right thinking to do, however, we should understand the ethics behind it.

Do your customers want their personal information shared for contact tracing purposes? Do people trust businesses and governments to keep that data once the pandemic ends? These are the questions that you should ask before making a protection strategy. Keep in mind that there are risks when it gets breached and used for malicious purposes. 

How does this also apply in your current work setup? 

There are software services and platforms that help the management to keep track of the employee tasks. It can gather insights into their workday, the hours they report, and many more. But you also have to know it’s where ethics also come to mind. 

To form healthy boundaries with employees, you have to let them know that they are being monitored, keep them updated with new processes that don’t damage their trust and have a smooth return to the office without revealing sensitive health information. 

How to ethically collect data

1. Make a Survey 

Sending out surveys, including online, lets you understand the preferences of your audience better. You can analyze it to analyze the patterns and buyer personas for your business. 

Conducting a survey is a good way to maintain data and show that your business respects the privacy of clients. It shows that you’re transparent and that you care for the opinions and what they want to share. 

2. Rely more on first-party data 

Another plan you can make is relying more on first-party data and the ones that are easy to identify. Marketing Dive shared a study that revealed 52% of organizations have prioritized digital strategies or experiences intending to gather more first-party data.  

It may allow you to focus less on demographics and make your products more inclusive to individuals of any background, gender, and race.

3. Use artificial intelligence (AI) to understand the type of data

Many data from email, social media, web pages, documents, and photos don’t have a predefined data model or that it’s unstructured. It means that it’s searched or analyzed all around the place. Datamation revealed that enterprise organizations go through unstructured data accounts for at least 80% of the data collected. 

AI can be used to analyze vast details and connect the dots. You can use this to detect, structure, and use the data needed. Having this approach lets you reveal insights that help business decisions. 

4. Request their preferred information on web pages

When someone visits a website, the first thing they notice is the cookie preference. If they’re interested in the product or service, most likely the business will ask them for their information.

It’s a good technique to have that section where visitors can opt to subscribe to your blog or newsletter. Even though you only got their name and email address, that simple information is an opportunity for a new lead. 

A 2019 survey from Cisco Consumer Privacy revealed that 48% changed companies or providers due to data policies or sharing practices.  To show your website visitors that your business cares, you have to tell why their information is needed and how it gets utilized. You have to build that respect with users because they are placing their trust in your business.

5. Use a CRM platform that lets you add ethics in privacy 

What makes CRM stand out is that you can keep all of your sensitive data in one place. It helps you track customer accounts, leads, sales, and other information. With sensitive data in place, you have to keep your platform up-to-date. 

If you plan to gather sensitive data from customers, you have to notify them and ask permission. Just like what I said above, you have to show the users why you need their data. After that, you can utilize their data and create a secure, trusted relationship with them. For instance, you can use the world’s leading CRM, Salesforce, to have a safe and organized view of your customers, all while giving them a personalized experience! 

Image by Pexels/Pixabay

Knowing the importance of data protection shows that your business can comply by updating your software. Companies need to know what to do in ethically storing customer data so that information is safe in their hands. 

You can start by having meetings with your team about it. With the Salesforce Privacy Centre, you can secure data with easy-to-use tools from this leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform. 

Want to know more about solutions that will help you ethically connect with customers? Message us here! We’re ready to help.