Consumer privacy and data security is quickly becoming one of the most critical topics for a business to consider. The European Union and California have both adopted extensive data protection regulations. Regulation within the rest of the United States is moving slowly, but is trending towards adopting regulations designed to protect consumer privacy. And even if your business is not located within the EU or California, your customer base may fall under their reach. Other businesses may have to deal with industry-specific protections such as HIPAA. And even if you are not subject to specific regulations, customers now expect businesses to handle their data with care, and a data breach could lead to charges of negligence and breaches under your contracts.

Privacy and data security is more than just a privacy policy. They are necessary to comply with regulations and put customers on notice of your practices, but privacy and data security should now be an integral part of building a business. It extends to your internal practices and operations, and those will drive what your privacy policy states. Businesses should consider who has access to what data and how much access that person should have, as well as the levels of security protecting that data, both physical and electronic. Personally identifiable information, other confidential customer data, and your own internal data may all require different approaches.

Also, all businesses will have to consider how employees access that business’s information - do you want to require (and pay for) all employees to only use company-owned computers and phones, or do you want to allow them to use their own phones? Each also carries a different level of ability and expectations about whether or not your access to devices your employees use - and to the data on those devices, whether business or personal.

We are experienced at helping businesses navigate these issues. Our lawyers are able to interpret complex regulatory issues and technical concepts into legal documents and advice on how to implement processes for enhancing privacy and data security. We can guide you in balancing the need for security with the ability of your business and employees to function and make sure that the protections do not detract from the most important consideration - your business’s ability to succeed!

Contact us to get started on discussing and dealing with these issues today.