What Can Your Business Learn about #Privacy from the UK Direct Marketing Association?

dataIt seems as if a day doesn’t go by without notification by the media of a major data breach. If you’re a member of the C-Suite of a midsize business, you probably spend a good deal of time thinking about how to protect your data as well as your business reputation.

I recently read some surprising news from a British marketing group (1) and offer it as a lesson for all businesses – no matter where your corporate headquarters may be located and how many offices you may have. In August 2014, the UK Direct Marketing Association released a new privacy code of practice to address customer concerns about data privacy. The link for the entire code is provided below (2), but the code focuses on five key principles:

[1] Put your customer first
[2] Respect privacy
[3] Be honest and fair
[4] Be diligent with data
[5] Take responsibility

While we all receive too much direct mail, this attention to our privacy brings the discussion about customer data to the forefront. As a result, there can only be positive outcomes:

[1] Businesses will implement stricter protocols regarding data protection
[2] Businesses will implement quicker disaster recovery procedures
[3] Businesses will alert customers immediately upon learning of a breach – as opposed to having the media share the news
[4] Businesses will inform law enforcement agencies
[5] Businesses will call in third-party forensics teams to determine the size of the breach and develop protocols to mitigate future breaches

If you suspect a breach or just want to keep current on the latest breaches, visit the list provided by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, whose tagline is “Empowering Consumers. Protecting Privacy.” (3)

Lastly, here’s something else I found surprising: if a member of the UK’s Direct Marketing Association breaks this new privacy code, the member will be expelled from the association. Don’t you think all businesses would spend more time and money protecting their customers’ data if there were more significant ramifications than just the equivalent of a slap on the wrist by the media? I welcome you to chime in.
(1) UK Marketing Trade Body Unveils New Code to Address Privacy Concerns:
https://privacyassociation.org/news/a/uk-marketing-trade-body-unveils-new-code-to-address-privacy-concerns/

(2) UK DMA Privacy Code:
http://www.dma.org.uk/uploads/Interactive-code-for-web_sept-11_54119ad59a64b.pdf

(3) Privacy Rights Clearinghouse:
http://www.privacyrights.org/data-breach/

Image Credit: Courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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About Allan Pratt

Technology and cybersecurity professional with focus on tech news, cybersecurity, networking, infrastructure, data protection, consumer electronics, and social media.
This entry was posted in Data Breach, Data Security, Management and Technology, Privacy Rights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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