Three Ways Your Company’s Privacy Policy Is Aggravating Consumers

The public is in an uproar over privacy. Are there things that we do as companies to exacerbate the situation? Here are a few things to consider.

Stop treating privacy policy as an afterthought. It’s true that privacy policy doesn’t produce a discernible number in the profit column, but that can’t prevent you from making it a focal point. Your company needs to stay up-to-date on privacy developments. In fact, you should really strive to be on the cutting edge if you want to keep consumers happy. Plus, you will avoid the repercussions of privacy issues in the long run. You may not be able to put a dollar amount on making privacy a focus, but it certainly makes sense.

Don’t make your privacy policy a lengthy mess of legal gobbledygook. No one wants to read all that and no one can understand it. It becomes a source of frustration to consumers who want to know what data is being collected and how it will be used. Transparency is what consumers want. Speak plainly. Keep it simple. Make sure that everything is spelled out in a way that the average consumer can understand.

The cover-up: this may be what consumers hate the most. The fact is that all companies make mistakes. Inevitably, some private data will leak out due to a new hack or cyber-attack. It may be revealed that the NSA has been intercepting data you have collected. Whatever it is that has your customers upset, just say you’re sorry. No one wants to hear, “we didn’t know,” or, “there’s no way we could have prevented…” No one cares about the excuses. Just apologize and move on. And if you make a major privacy error in judgment (remember the scandal with Instagram when the policy changed last year?), don’t be afraid to tell consumers they were right to be upset. Then change your policy back to one that is less controversial. Better, of course, would be to not adopt controversial policies in the first place.