How To Be a Privacy Hero (And Save Your Business or Job in the Process)

April 13, 2009E-Books

Almost every business in the United States has privacy compliance issues of some sort. Most businesses have undertaken the “bare minimum” approach to protecting private information, rarely complying with the relevant laws and requirements or learning about consequences for failure to comply, which in almost all cases is not enough.

Your business collects protected, private information from employees, has access to or possession of information sensitive to your customers and vendors, and receives information from third parties through your web site or by paper correspondence. Depending on the nature of this information, you owe a duty to the owners of each type of the foregoing information to safeguard and not unreasonably disclose this information.

The purposes of this Desk Reference are to make you aware of issues that exist for your business today and may exist tomorrow, to provide steps you can take now and going forward to make compliance attainable, and to offer advice on what you should do if a problem arises. This Desk Reference should not be considered comprehensive, and any conclusions your business draws should be confirmed by knowledgeable legal counsel considering all facts and circumstances.

Like many aspects of your business, the issues and steps outlined here may only matter when and if something bad happens. Think of privacy compliance efforts as insurance: making sure that if the hacker targets you, the disgruntled employee strikes back or the overnight carrier loses your back-up tapes, you know how to respond, protect the information owners and minimize your exposure.