Personal Privacy Laws and Your Small Business

As part of running a business, your company gathers a lot of details about you. Some of the data may be considered sensitive, which is a kind of data that receives extra protection under privacy law. The laws vary from country to country, and so do the kinds of data that are considered to be personal.

Different privacy laws define sensitive information in a different way, but often it includes things like genetic information such as racial or ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation and religious beliefs. It could also include a person’s home address and phone number as well as social security number. It could even contain biometric information, like fingerprints or electronic signatures.

The laws governing personal information differ by region and industry, but it’s essential for businesses to understand what types of information they are required to safeguard. A lot of these laws will require you to outline your policies and have employees accept them as a condition of their business relationship with you.

It is a good idea to make a list of all the personal data your business has. This will help ensure that you’re in compliance. This means you’ll need to go beyond the files in your file cabinets, and in addition, the data stored on laptops, mobile devices home computers, USB flash drives, or digital copiers. You’ll be surprised by the amount of personal data your business holds.