The Importance of Location Data Privacy: Five Reasons Why Companies Should Adopt Privacy-Conscious Practices

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The world’s first data privacy law was enacted in 1970, long before the widespread use of mobile phones or geographic positioning systems (GPS) data. Today, the concept of data privacy is constantly evolving, influenced by legal regulations, corporate policies, and public opinion. With changes in data privacy legislation and varying perspectives on data privacy, we’re headed toward a complex future in terms of data collection and compliance. Now more than ever, it’s critical for companies to understand the importance of data privacy.

In celebration of International Data Privacy Day, here are some reasons why incorporating privacy-friendly practices into your company’s data management procedures is essential:

1. Plan for the Future of Privacy Regulations

Consumer data privacy concerns will only continue, and likely intensify, as time goes on. Efforts by regulatory agencies and other legal entities are ever-evolving, so it’s beneficial to stay ahead of the game. To do this, companies may begin by understanding the importance of data privacy and learning about the evolution of data privacy regulations. The primary enforcing agency of data privacy compliance is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This agency, along with other governing laws, helps to set the standard for data privacy in the United States. Keeping up with any progress the FTC makes or any legislation changes can lead to better preparation for the future. Because there’s currently no comprehensive federal privacy law in the U.S., understanding related federal and state laws is crucial. Now is the time to evaluate your data privacy practices and ensure your company is thoroughly prepared as policy evolves.

2. Protect Your Company’s Reputation

A company’s reputation impacts its relationships with important stakeholders. For companies that handle consumer data, including location data, implementing data privacy compliance tools and best practices can help to protect their reputation. When a company does not implement the necessary procedures to ensure consumer data privacy, it may lead to negative press coverage, damaged consumer relationships, and even lowered investor confidence. This overall harm to a company’s reputation can be dire. Stakeholder confidence and trust is a critical factor in any company’s success. In fact, a company’s reputation is often considered its most valuable asset. A damaged reputation can lead to a variety of negative side effects, ultimately affecting business.

3. Gain a Competitive Advantage

How does proper preparation and a positive reputation benefit a company? It gives it a competitive edge in the market. When a company is well-prepared for shifts in privacy legislation, it shows the market they have knowledgeable personnel, strategic leadership, and the resources to maintain data quality and compliance. Furthermore, a good reputation is an indication of expert team members, great customer service, a prominent position in the industry, and more. These things can give a company a competitive advantage, making it a leader and a stronger competitor in the market. Not only that, but privacy-compliant data means higher quality data—another key differentiator for the company. In business, the importance of data privacy cannot be overstated.

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4. Build Trust with Consumers and Employees

As more companies establish ethical guidelines and values, privacy-compliant data procedures can reinforce and validate a company’s code of ethics. Implementing best practices for data privacy can strengthen a company’s ethical reputation, which can build trust among its consumers. Since consumers act on morality and make purchases based on the ethics of a company, a focus on data privacy can positively impact a company’s bottom line. Within the company, a focus on data privacy can also strengthen relationships between company personnel. Since a company’s success is dependent on its workforce, it’s critical that employees have a favorable opinion of company practices. Failure to uphold the company’s ethical standards or society’s ethical expectations can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction among employees and consumers alike. With so much at stake, it’s critical that companies understand the importance of data privacy and the effect this can have on building trust.

5. Prepare for an Increasingly Digital Society

The internet of things (IoT), various physical devices connected to the internet, is where the future is headed. IoT is becoming more commonplace in warehousing, manufacturing, and even consumers’ daily lives. IoT devices collect and share important data to function, and as this technology progresses, location data will become more and more abundant. A popular example of IoT devices is connected cars, vehicles that use internet connectivity to communicate with outside systems. For example, a car’s GPS leverages location information in order to function properly and instruct drivers where to go. As more commonplace objects are added into this global network of IoT devices, data privacy concerns will increase. Not only that, but companies leveraging location data collected by IoT devices will need to prepare for the accelerated pace of data collection and the concerns that could come with it.

The Importance of Data Privacy Today and in the Future

Now more than ever, data privacy is an important aspect for many businesses. As the world continues to become digitized and more consumer data is collected, data privacy concerns will remain top of mind. Implementing tools like PrivacyCheck—Unacast'’s privacy-enhancing technology that helps organizations ensure location data generated at sensitive locations is not used, shared, or resold—is pivotal. As the data landscape evolves and becomes more complex, companies that collect or utilize data can benefit from improving their own data privacy practices.

To learn more about the importance of location data privacy and how PrivacyCheck can help your organization, contact Unacast today to speak with one of our experts.


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