12 Reasons Why Data Privacy Protection Brings Business Value

7. To maintain public, investor and customer trust

According to a Ponemon study commissioned by Centrify, 65% of individuals whose personal data was breached lost trust in the organization that experienced the breach (either directly, or as a result of a breach in one of their contracted vendors). One in four individuals breached took their business elsewhere. Organizations that do not implement privacy protections, and subsequently experience breaches, will lose trust, which in turn will result in lower profits and fewer customers.

8. To support your customers’ wishes

The general public is much more privacy aware now than they have ever been before. And, as our youngest population learn more about privacy throughout grade schools and high schools, they are having increased expectations, even before entering adulthood, that they have increasing rights over how their own personal data is collected, used, analyzed, and shared. The general public is becoming more aware of all their increasing rights to tell those that collect their personal data that they expect to have their personal data protected, and have rights to access and control their personal data. Every day I get at least one message from some type of privacy rights group that wants the message recipients to know and take action to demand privacy rights. In fact, as I was writing this article, I received such an email message from one of these groups with the subject line, “Tell Google to stop secretly tracking users’ locations.”

9. To be a competitive differentiator and gain a competitive advantage

Close to 75% of internet-using households in the US had significant concerns about online privacy and security risks in 2017, and 1/3 of these indicated that they chose to not do actions online because of those worries. These significant worries about privacy, and how it impacts the actions of the public, demonstrate that if your organization can show that you truly care about the privacy of the personal data your collect and processes, you will have a significant advantage over your competitors who do not make privacy a priority.

10. To increase physical safety

Lack of privacy protections has resulted in tragic physical harms to the associated individuals. One of the first USA state privacy laws, the “Driver’s Privacy Protection Act” which was implemented in California in 1997, was created largely as a response to the 1989 murder of Rebecca Schaeffer, an actress on the USA TV show “My Sister Sam” who was stalked by a fan who obtained her home address simply by going to the California State Department of Transportation then went to her home and shot her. Incidents similar to this have continued, worldwide, to the present. Protecting personal data so often also protects the physical safety of the data subjects.

11. To build customer loyalty

In 2017, research firm Baringa Partners conducted a survey about consumer attitudes toward data protection. Here’s a portion of their findings:

“Our results reveal companies risk losing up to 55% of customers if they suffer a significant personal data leak. We looked at consumer attitudes towards companies in the banking, insurance, energy, and TV, phone and internet sectors. We found that, in the event of a data breach, 30% of people would switch provider immediately and a further 25% would wait to see a media response or what others say and do before switching to another provider.”

And it isn’t just large corporations at risk. All sizes of organizations will lose customers following a breach. In the USA, a recent Bank of America research report revealed that “nearly 40 percent of consumers have had their credit or debit card, bank account or other personal financial information stolen. And 20 percent of those consumers who have had their information stolen said they would not shop with a small business that has experienced a data breach.”

12. To support innovation

Too many people claim that building security and privacy controls into new technologies, products and services stifles innovation. That is complete hogwash! Actually, when privacy is purposefully addressed within new innovations, it expands and improves innovations. It does not inhibit them. The public is demanding that privacy be protected. Privacy should be viewed as not just a differentiator or something to be done if legally required, but a standard requirement for any new technology or service involving personal data. It takes more innovation to create secure privacy-protecting devices that mitigate privacy risk than it does to simply leave out such controls.


If you have any questions on this topic, just let me know. If you will be attending Data Privacy Asia conference in Manila, Philippines on September 19 and 20, this will give you a peek into my talk, “Beyond Compliance: Ethics, Technology and Trust,” and allow you to determine any related questions; if not during my talk, certainly at some point during the conference breaks, meals, or other activities.

For a couple of other previews to the Data Privacy Asia conference, you can listen to:

Please get in touch!

I look forward to covering the wide range of privacy issues that must be addressed by every business, and every individual, in the coming months within this blog feature!  If you have a topic to suggest, just let me know. I always appreciate knowing the topics that are at top of mind for our readers.


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Rebecca, good to see a researched article pointing out the benefits to business of implementing data privacy for their consumers and following the spirit of data protection laws. – @AdamLGRing

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