The majority of the time, it feels as though large corporations and dominant market brands can do no wrong. Omnipotent both in terms of their stature and the influence that they yield in their chosen market, they turn over billions of dollars each year and grow wealthier with each new innovation. From Facebook to Google, these brands set trends and break rules with breathtaking regularity.
It may, therefore, come as a surprise to learn that Google are set to face a privacy lawsuit in the U.S. and Europe. After a federal judge recently rejected the business’s efforts to dismiss a lawsuit regarding the inappropriate sharing of consumer data with advertisers, suddenly we are faced with the realisation that no single entity is safe from the reach of international laws and rule makers. What this means for Google has yet to be seen, but it certainly provides a lesson that small business owners should learn from: even Google gets caught out sometimes.
How to strike the Balance between Data and Security
More specifically, if Google can fall foul of stringent data protection laws then so can you. It is no longer acceptable to take a relaxed approach towards data management, as even smaller businesses can access viable and affordable software packages that enable them to collate, manage and securely store sensitive information. While it may be easier than ever to achieve these aims, however, it does require a proactive approach from independent business owners if they are to maintain long-term compliance with international laws.
As a starting point, it is important to recognise the need for data storage. Essentially, modern business is driven by the successful accumulation and interpretation of data, whether this is retained in electronic form or through a series of hard copies. While the storage of data may be easier than ever, it does provide a significant security risk in an age where cyber-crime and sophisticated identity theft is increasingly prominent. It is both how you store data and how you dispose of it once it is no longer useful to you that will ultimately help to keep your sensitive information safe.
The disposal of paper-based data is arguably the single most crucial factor, as once it has been discarded it is no longer protected by locks, keys or server passwords. This means it is suddenly out in the open and vulnerable to the machinations of criminals, who may choose to use consumer identity data as a way of executing fraud. It is therefore crucial that you partner with a reputable and innovative recycling firm such as Lombard Recycling, as this provides a reliable and sustainable solution to your document disposal issues.
As Google’s recent legal battle shows, even small business owners cannot afford to become complacent when it comes to data management and handling. After all, while Google will most likely be forced to pay an easily manageable fine to account for their reported privacy infringements, the equivalent sanction on an independent venture could drive them out of business. So be proactive when establishing a data management strategy, and make sure that you achieve the delicate balance between storing information close at hand and keeping it secure.