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User privacy as one of the most important attributes of modern online business

Confidentiality is one of the most sensitive issues in a business context. Its use can be an excellent factor for business growth, but its non-observance or even the slightest misuse of it is fraught with dangers, including the loss of customers.

Confidentiality and trust

For the development of e-commerce business an important factor is to strengthen user confidence, which directly depends on the security policy and privacy of a company or a web-site. After a feeling of initial novelty and a surge of interest passed, practices such as tracking websites, geolocation, and the use of targeted or personalized advertising caused users to be dissatisfied and have a negative reaction to attracting commercial and institutional resources on the Internet.

The collection of personal data and web browsing information or online transactions from local algorithms and web analysis and accumulation tools has expanded to mobile applications, desktop programs and policies/acts/rules and conditions, under which consumers, without looking, put their consent. But in the current environment, methods of increasing the coverage and income of commercial organizations had a negative effect and forced the user to consciously make efforts to avoid unauthorized access to personal data. These include ad blockers, private virtual networks and anonymous browsers.

Such a situation can hardly be considered desirable for businesses all over the world. That is why new legal and regulatory frameworks were introduced in order to push confidentiality issues into the forefront of business thinking and influence the behavior of commercial organizations when conducting online operations.

Privacy protection as a growth factor

The use of consumer and market data can have a very dual effect. On the one hand, such information allows you to create visitors’ and customers’ profiles with accurate information, and can help in adjusting sales strategies and creating conditions for targeted marketing campaigns. On the other hand, fame as an organization that closely monitors its customers, can cause a feeling of invasion, putting an end to the original goal of ensuring confidentiality.

For this reason, representatives of various online businesses, regardless of their size (from the largest platforms for communications to small online stores), have to reconsider and make changes in the way they conduct business on the Internet. And the two main methods are increasing the level of transparency and disclosing a company’s privacy policy, which provides a safer environment for their users.

Many firms promote themselves as protectors of confidentiality in order to gain consumer confidence and increase brand loyalty. The simplest way to do this may be expressing in the presence of a clearly marked section of the website or online platform with a detailed description of the privacy policy. A more sophisticated approach includes accelerated procedures to ensure the anonymity of personal data, setting cookies for a shorter period of time, or storing customer account information separately from activity logs.

Compliance requirements

After the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May 2018, privacy protection and personal data processing issues became the focus of global business. The structure has established many stringent procedures and conditions for the collection, transportation, processing and storage of personal information received from residents and citizens of the EU. But at the same time, legal conditions will apply to organizations that deal with EU personal data (including cloud services and providers) located and registered in any part of the world. The GDPR has the authority to impose strict sanctions and significant fines on companies that violate these recommendations. That is why it is extremely important for participants of the online market to worry about the documentation base, and to prepare agreements that correspond to the GDPR.

Less than six months after the entry into force of the Regulations, organizations all around the world began to bring in line their activities. For many, this was reflected in the restriction of customer data warehouses within the EU. And although such a strategy is easy to manage and cost-effective, it can limit the company’s potential in terms of entering cross-border markets. To expand its service infrastructure throughout the EU, large cloud service providers are adopting a strategic approach that allows them to provide more localized data storage and processing facilities that comply with new laws. Typically, this includes options for identifying and separating data and customer services in the EU and comprehensive tools for supervision and compliance reporting.

With the entry into a new era of consumer privacy protection, companies all around the world should adjust their technological deployment to optimize their online business, and their views on meeting new requirements in general. Those who have just started to deal with such issues should contact companies such as SBSB, which provide a wide range of legal services, and ways to prepare and align all necessary documentation with the standards of the GDPR.