Transparency is critical
You owe it to your online business connections to be transparent with what your policies are and how they will affect them if they decide to interact with you in business in some way. It is also extremely important that you notify your online connections of important information as it occurs (and if, of course, it is relevant) and that you offer them a way to opt-out if they should choose to do that.
- When giving notice: When notifying your connections (that includes prospective and already-existing clients) about how you will be gathering and using information about them, you must be very clear, comprehensible and transparent. There should be nothing left to doubt in their minds. You should be sure to tell them who you intend to share their information with and ensure that they can get in touch with you easily, if they would like to do that.
- Your customers have a choice: It is extremely important that you understand that your online connections have a choice when it comes to sharing their information and that it is perfectly acceptable if they choose not to do so. It is possible that they may not be comfortable with your sharing their information with third parties and/or used in a way that is not synergistic with the way in which the content was originally supposed to be used. This is where your online connections may choose to opt-out.
- The integrity of the data: It is critical that your data is clean (always). It is clean, that means that it is complete, up-to-date, dependable and accurate.
- Keeping your online connections secure: It is critical that you take all necessary measures to guard against misconduct in the form of misuse of the data of your online connections, use without permission, altering the data in any way, disclosing the information, or destroying the information.
Reviewing current privacy practices
Assuming that you already have policy practice in place, you should take a long, hard look at it to determine if it is relevant as is or if it needs to be revised. You should be able to determine what needs to be done quite easily. It is also possible that the laws that existed when you wrote the policy have either changed or new (and more relevant) laws may now be in effect. In any case, it bears close, periodic examination to make sure that you are always up to date.
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Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).