Personal Privacy Laws and Your Small Business

As part of running a business your company gathers a lot of information about you. Some of it may be sensitive personal information that is a distinct category of information that receives additional protection under privacy laws. The laws vary from one country to another, as do the types and quantities of personal information.

Sensitive information can be defined differently by different privacy laws, but it is typically comprised of genetic information and ethnic or racial origin or sexual orientation and gender identity, and religious beliefs. It may also include the social security number of an individual or home address, as well as a phone number, or other data that could be used to identify them in a certain way. It can also contain biometric data, such as fingerprints and electronic signatures.

The laws governing personal information differ by region and industry, but it is crucial for businesses to know what kinds of data they are required to protect. A lot of these laws will require that you outline your policies and get people to be able to accept them as a part of doing business with you.

To make sure you are compliant for compliance, it’s a good idea to start by doing an inventory of all personal information your business has. This means that you need to go beyond the files in your file cabinets, and in addition, the data stored on mobile devices, laptops home computers USB flash drives or digital copiers. You’ll be shocked by how much personal data your company holds.

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