Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy
Encryption levels the playing field for consumers. They know to expect security in data transfers. Encryption also allows marketers and their IT staff to work on a common platform when it comes to partners, clients and vendors. Lastly, it carries the significant benefit of providing safe harbor from most state-level security laws and similar proposals currently being debated on Capitol Hill.
Encryption is less onerous than it sounds. In fact, there are even open-source license tools (such as GPG, FileZilla or Core FTP) that make it free to implement. What’s more, your organization may already have similar systems in place if it takes credit card payments online.
The leading marketing trade associations already have endorsed encryption as a way to keep personally identifiable data secure. The Direct Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and leaders in the field of privacy know this simple step not only is good for marketers, but it also is good for building up consumer confidence in a world that seems to have a data breach every other day.
Is encryption the only way to make your data transfers safer? No, there are additional policies and procedures—such as limiting the amount of data collected to what is mission-critical—which each organization should contemplate with its partners and vendors.
But encryption is a relatively easy-to-implement, low-cost technological tool that can protect your customers, your organization and your brand by limiting the unauthorized use of data.
Lou Mastria, CIPP, is chief privacy officer and vice president of public affairs at NextAction Corp., a Westminster, Colo.-based provider of cooperative data solutions for multichannel retailers. He can be reached at (908) 363-0983, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.