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Why Transparency is a Key Part of Privacy Regulations

At first glance, transparency might seem like the opposite of privacy. However, when it comes to sensitive information, transparency is a critical part of privacy regulations.

Individuals need to know how an organization intends to process, store, and use their information. Without this type of transparency, individuals lose control over their privacy rights.

Individuals are becoming hyperaware of the importance of their personal data, with 92 percent of people reporting being concerned about how safe their information is online.

That’s why organizations need to be transparent about how they use the data they collect.

The Challenge of Transparency in Privacy Notices

You might see the term “privacy policy” used interchangeably with “privacy notice.” Regardless of what it is called, a privacy notice informs individuals about how their data will be collected, stored, and used.

Unfortunately, most privacy notices are cumbersome to read. They might be several pages long and full of difficult-to-understand language and industry jargon. In some cases, they are hidden behind link after link, making it even more difficult for individuals to access them.

All of this means that the transparency of the privacy notice is lost. The individual might need clarification about what data they agree to share and how it will be stored and accessed by an organization.

The Solution: Avoiding Overwhelm

The simplest solution to the challenge of overwhelming privacy notices is to simplify them. Or, at least, to offer a secondary document that addresses questions about data privacy and management.

Companies tend to think that creating one large document to cover every aspect of their processing is the best way to deliver information to clients. Unfortunately, this method can backfire when that massive document is too difficult to read, creating a barrier to entry.

So, simplifying the massive document is one solution. It’s good practice to cut down on unnecessary jargon and instead deliver a document using everyday language that is easy for users to follow and understand.

Another option is to stick with the large document to cover every process and then create a shorter, more targeted document that speaks directly to the question of data privacy. This more straightforward document should be easily accessible and use minimal (or zero) legal jargon.

Data Privacy Notices Do’s and Don’ts

It’s easy to go overboard when creating a data privacy notice. Many companies mistake a privacy notice for a legal document. However, privacy notices are not legally binding contracts.

Instead of trying to explain every single aspect of your organization’s methods for collecting and using data, highlight the critical areas of concern for users. Focus on delivering accurate, transparent information in an engaging and concise way.

Here are some things to do and avoid when creating a transparent privacy notice for data collection.

DO

  • Be open and transparent
  • Make the privacy notice easy to find
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Make sure the privacy notice is sent before any data is collected
  • Be engaging and incorporate images, videos, and icons as needed

DON’T

  • Think of privacy notices as a contract
  • Require the individual to consent to the privacy notice
  • Have a lawyer or legal representative write them
  • Write too much
  • Gate them behind multiple links
  • Make them difficult to read

HealthLink Dimensions Can Support Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Data is critical for marketers. However, being transparent about how you collect, analyze, store, and use that data is also vital.

No matter your digital marketing strategy, HealthLink Dimensions can help you make sense of your data to deliver targeted messages to the right audience at the right time using ethically collected and permissioned data. Contact us to get started.

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