Data privacy is more important than ever for businesses, with the amount of personal information being collected on people and customers increasing exponentially. With the rise of digital technologies, businesses are collecting, storing and using vast amounts of personal data, including names, addresses, email addresses, and even sensitive information such as financial and medical records. While this data can be precious for businesses, it also poses significant risks to individuals’ privacy and security.
Businesses failing to comply with these laws and regulations can face significant legal and financial consequences, including hefty fines and reputational damage. And noncompliance can erode customer trust and loyalty, damaging a business’s reputation and long-term viability.
A 2021 survey conducted by KPMG found 86% of consumers feel a growing concern about data privacy, while 78% expressed fears about the amount of data being collected. Some 40% of the consumers surveyed don’t trust companies to use their data ethically, and 13% don’t even trust their own employers.
And as data breaches and privacy violations continue to make headlines, there is a growing public demand for more robust data privacy protections. Governments and regulatory watchdogs have reacted to this challenge with various laws and measures to protect individuals’ personal data.
These laws include the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). At the same time, in the United States, we’ve seen the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) introduced.
Heavy US fines
In recent years, several high-profile data privacy breaches have resulted in significant fines being levied against companies in the United States. Some of the most expensive penalties include:
- Facebook (now Meta) – $725 million for mishandling user data
- Equifax – $700 million for 2017 data breach, affecting 147 million people
- Epic Games – $520 million for using privacy-invasive default settings
- T-Mobile – $500 million for 2021 data breach caused by cyberattack
Expect to see more activity this year to protect data; following California’s lead, four other states — Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia — will begin enforcing new GDPR-inspired statutes in 2023, with more states expected to follow.
So, it’s clear that US regulators are showing their teeth and are more than prepared to hand down whopping fines for businesses that fail to protect customer data. In May, the Federal Trade Commission proposed banning Meta from making money from kids’ data after determining that the company had repeatedly violated a privacy order from 2020 that was part of the fine (which was reduced from $5 billion) outlined above.
It means businesses must put data privacy compliance at the top of their priorities list to protect their customers’ personal data and avoid legal and financial penalties. This will likely involve implementing processes and policies to ensure any data collected is carefully protected, in line with the relevant guidelines. By doing so, businesses demonstrate their commitment to respecting privacy rights, building trust with their customers and protecting themselves against potentially costly legal action.
Finding the right partner
It’s not hyperbole to say that protecting customer data is one of the foremost challenges for businesses over the coming decade. Choosing the right partner for your human capital management (HCM) requirements will be central for any business that understands the importance and value of its staff.
Grosvenor Technology provides secure and scalable methods of collecting workforce data to provide accurate real-time data to its HCM partners, allowing them to focus on their core business of delivering global leading HCM solutions.
As a common example, ‘Buddy Punching’ can account for 2.2% of your total payroll, and biometric solutions will help to eliminate the practice. In an environment where the data protection landscape seems in a constant state of flux, there can be a reluctance to deploy biometric tools. But GTConnect protects businesses against this very risk, ensuring compliance with privacy-enhancing technology and enforcing processes around consent, retention and deletion of the required biometric data.
Your business can capitalise on the savings while maintaining the lowest possible risk. The greater use of biometric technology and the protection of the data it creates is a trend that we anticipate will accelerate in the near- and medium term as solutions like GTConnect demonstrate a significant decline in fraud and proven ROI.
The security of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) has never been more critical and is a crucial consideration for organisations of all sizes. Biometric security legislation is being rapidly adopted, often as part of existing laws such as GDPR and CCPA, meaning companies must ensure their strategic security plans account for the capture, processing and storage of PII.
With Grosvenor Technology’s GTConnect solution, you can be sure that all biometric and personal data is managed, distributed, and backed up securely and automatically across networked devices to ensure compliance with data protection laws. Find out more here.