Data privacy is a rapidly developing area of law that can create significant compliance obligations for small, medium, and large companies.  Data privacy, or the right of individuals to control their personal information, is addressed by a patchwork of state and federal laws. Knowing which laws affect your business can be challenging, especially if you are not in a highly regulated industry like health care or financial services.

CarlieThe key to general compliance with many data privacy laws is to understand what your business is doing to “process” personal information. Processing includes collecting, using, storing, disclosing, and deleting. Your business must describe its processing activities in a privacy policy.

State and federal laws give the individuals whose personal information your business processes certain rights or declares certain prohibitions on your use of their information – all of which can affect your business operations. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act requires you to respond to your customer’s requests to know what information you have about them and be able to delete or cease sharing it with other entities. The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits you from contacting your customers using certain technologies without their consent.

Another component of data privacy law is implementing adequate data security measures. Data breaches affect major brands as well as small businesses. Understanding data security can help you both prevent problems and respond to incidents.

Complying with data privacy laws is a matter of urgency. Data privacy laws carry the risk of fines, government enforcement actions, or private suits. Additionally, the reputational costs of data breaches or misuse of personal information are significant. On the other hand, data privacy compliance will help you earn and keep your customer’s trust and help you innovate.

In this Flash Briefings by Manning Fulton webinar, Charles (‘Chuck’) H. Munn, Jr. and Carlie A. Smith discuss answers to the following questions about data privacy.

  • What is data privacy?
  • What is personal information?
  • How do I know what federal or state laws apply to my business?
  • What are the benefits of a data privacy compliance program and what are the risks of delaying compliance?
  • How do I get started with data privacy compliance?
  • How does data privacy affect my relationship with vendors?
  • What should I include in a data breach response plan?

If you have additional questions about data privacy, please reach out to Manning Fulton attorneys who can provide advice tailored to your business needs.