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You’re in business with your customers, not the regulators

Thanks to GDPR and the rise of increased data regulation, many companies have become paranoid about staying on the right side of regulating authorities such as the ICO.

Of course, you shouldn’t attract their attention with harmful breaches or poor data management practices that contravene the rules but, at the same time, it is important to remember that they’re not actually the people paying the bills and keeping a roof over your business’s head.

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Customers will drive best practice

The way that organisations approach and handle personal data and privacy is a core trust indicator — and trust will increasingly be the foundation of customer relationships in our digital society. If we then factor in the increasing international focus on privacy, and restrictions over the geographic transfer of such data, this makes personal data governance an essential capability for today's enterprises.

That is why, in the end, customers will drive the standards of data protection that they require and expect. Marketing departments often cite the research that appears regularly on the world’s most trusted, most reputable and most powerful brands, but over the coming years expect the criteria to shift in line with the changing world of customer expectations.

In fact, it would be no surprise if the public’s trust in areas such as companies’ data security processes and GDPR best practice start to rank right up there alongside customer service and social responsibility when it comes to which brands come out on top.

A different customer relationship

Businesses will have to take a different approach to how they manage their customer relationships in this brave new world. Only when they have proved themselves to be reliable and trustworthy data guardians will individuals be willing to provide them with the personal data that they now know (or at least, are beginning to grasp) has such value.

Whereas previously companies might have looked to delight their customers and exceed their expectations through clever pricing structures, great marketing communications or exceptional service delivered by their employees, now they will also have to earn that delight with robust data management protocols and swift responses to requests for data access.

Ultimately, customers will also define what privacy is and what it means to them. Enterprises will have to do more than just ‘update their privacy policy’, as noted ad nauseam in the emails we’ve all been receiving in recent weeks – they will have to understand that we now live in a world where accessibility, privacy and trust are the new normal.

We’ve created a white paper that looks in detail at what GDPR means for data privacy and personal data governance and what businesses should be thinking about in this area. To learn more, please contact us +44 (0)20 3582 5055 or get a demo here.

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Winner - Cyber Security Awards
UKAS
iapp Corporate Member