Woman using phone to set consent preferences showing Quebec privacy regulations

The Power of Preference in the Wake of Privacy Regulations

In the ever-evolving privacy landscape, the average individual is becoming increasingly concerned with the security of their personal data. To prevent the mishandling of sensitive information, new regulations addressing data privacy are cropping up all over the globe.

One recent example of this is the updates to Quebec’s Act to Modernize Legislative Provisions Respecting the Protection of Personal Information, more commonly known as “Law 25.” First introduced in September 2022, Law 25 initially tasked businesses with implementing a handful of data security measures, including (but not limited to) designating a staff member in charge of protecting personal information and taking reasonable measures to protect the victims of confidentiality incidents.

As of September 2023, more robust guidelines have been introduced under Law 25. Private businesses operating in Quebec must now:

  • Develop a policy on practices that regulates the business governance on the protection of personal information.
  • Obtain an individual’s free and informed consent to collect, communicate, and use their personal information and comply with these new consent rules.
  • Respect individuals’ rights to de-indexation and cessation of dissemination – meaning individuals can revoke a company’s right to collect, index, and share their data at any time.
  • Conduct a privacy impact assessment before disclosing personal information outside of Quebec.

To summarize, respecting consumer preferences and increasing transparency surrounding the collection and use of their personal data is now codified by Quebecois law, and private businesses must take note.

In defense of autonomy

Providing customers with autonomy to dictate their own data-sharing preferences isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s also a key way to improve trust, establish transparency and strengthen brand loyalty. Additionally, teams can use this highly personalized data to tailor their marketing efforts, so they’re only serving up content and communications that are the most relevant to individual customers.

As such, business leaders shouldn’t feel hindered or restricted by legal requirements like Law 25. Instead, it should challenge businesses to consider this renewed emphasis on consumer autonomy as a positive development. This is especially true for companies that deal with our most sensitive data (i.e. financial and health information).

Beyond these updated privacy regulations, financial services and healthcare providers could face serious legal repercussions if customer and patient information is obtained without consent or ends up in the wrong hands. Developing a consumer-centric strategy anchored on up-to-date preferences is therefore an absolute necessity.

Let’s explore how leveraging consent and preference management technology can improve data privacy for financial services and healthcare providers everywhere.

Safeguarding financial data

Nobody wants their bank or credit card information collected and shared without their consent. But acquiring, maintaining, verifying, renewing or lapsing consent is an exceedingly tricky process that necessitates strict compliance with industry and regulatory standards.

Implementing a consent and preference management platform is a surefire way for financial service providers to accomplish this. This technology both provides customers with a complete view of their financial data and grants them the ability to change their consent and preferences at any time. Such platforms also enhance compliance by ensuring companies have documented proof of obtaining the necessary consents should the unthinkable happen and a confidentiality breach occurs.

What’s more, consent and preference management technology also offers significant benefits to internal operations. With crystal clear preferences to work from, financial services companies can collect and process only the data customers have consented to sharing, which reduces the risk of regulatory violations and minimizes the circulation of unnecessary or irrelevant information. Financial services companies can also use these preferences to tailor their communications and services to each individual customer, which creates a more personalized experience and helps them forge lasting relationships.

Managing healthcare preferences

Enforcing data compliance on the backend is a complex process for healthcare providers. Many may not be at the level of maturity necessary to handle enforcement, and are instead focused on obtaining consent and providing best-in-class digital experiences.

Consent and preference management platforms can pick up the slack here. The right platform will ensure global compliance across different jurisdictions and legislations and offer centralized cookie management configured across multiple domains and languages. In layman’s terms, that means providers who operate internationally can rest easy knowing they’re adhering to multiple location-specific regulations at the same time. Additionally, by integrating across third-party systems, this technology will enable secure data sharing and interoperability – with patient preferences acting as a single source of truth.