5 Steps To Enhance Data Privacy In Your Applications That Don't Involve Privacy Policies

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Regulatory bodies continue to prioritise privacy expectations for mobile apps, websites and software. For most businesses, protecting their image is the priority and protecting their customer's data and right to privacy comes second. The easiest way to do both is to comply with data privacy regulations and only collect the data they need.

Companies often think the most crucial component to secure user privacy is a comprehensive privacy policy. So they seek legal help to draft documents that say the right things, or use an online generator or a privacy policy maker. However, forming new policies is not always the way to secure customer privacy.

In this short article, we'll highlight 5 steps you can take to enhance data privacy in your customer-facing applications.

1. Take a Human-Centric Approach to Data Privacy

How would you feel if you told a friend your deepest secrets and they told everyone else they know? You'd be devastated and you'd likely feel betrayed. So why would you do that to your customers?

Yes, your company needs user data to function, to grow and to survive - but, in most cases, you have been given that data for one specific reason and it shouldn't be shared with anyone or used for any purpose other than the one you collected it for.

Is sharing sensitive data with other companies or suppliers necessary? Just because you could stand to benefit financially or in some other manner does not mean you should act against the interests of your customers.

Ever since GDPR came into force in 2018, it has been compulsory to take a human-centric approach to data privacy and put the customer first. Now, as other data privacy laws come into affect around the world, they all hold this tenet at their core.

2. Stop Tracking Users

Users can sometimes share too much information online, which can jeopardize their privacy and security. Despite this, many apps still closely monitor those who value their privacy. If an app requires the use of trackers, it should aim to collect as little data as possible from users. It's best to avoid collecting any unnecessary data about their online activities.

Collecting data from your users without their knowledge or consent is frowned upon at best and, depending on where you live in the world, illegal at worst. This doesn't just apply to their sensitive, personal data - it extends to information about their online purchases, the other apps they use, their activities on those apps and the duration of the time they spend on them.

It is crucial to be transparent with users about the data collected and avoid unethical practices to obtain data from your application's users.

3. Adhere To Your Privacy Policy

It's important for companies to adhere to the practices they set out in their privacy policy. Your privacy policy isn't just there to fulfill a requirement or avoid regulatory issues. Rather, it should be viewed as an essential document that provides valuable information to your users.

Everyone responsible for your mobile app must understand the privacy policy thoroughly. Think of it as a rule book that you must follow. Avoid making promises to your users that you cannot keep, as this will make it difficult for you to comply with the privacy policy.

It's not a one off exercise - you must review your privacy policy periodically to ensure that you remember what you have committed to and can act accordingly. 

4. Challenge Warrants

Government agencies and law enforcement recognise that applications have access to a significant amount of customer data. As a result, they want to leverage this data to gather intelligence, including location, last active time on an app, IP address and other information, to aid in the investigation of crimes and to locate suspects.

For instance, the United States Government often gathers user data from tech companies. As powerful as governments can be, you shouldn't just hand over user data to them whenever they ask. If you feel the request is too far-reaching or unnecessary data is requested, it's acceptable to challenge their requests.

Apple did exactly that when the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) failed to compel them to create a security loophole in an iPhone. This loophole was meant to help them get information from a criminal's iPhone. Though the refusal drew criticism, Apple maintained that it took that step because it was committed to the security of its customers.

Following this request, Apple implemented a security feature called USB Restricted Mode, which restricts access to the data on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch through the device's lightning port if it has been locked for more than an hour. The port would shut off the iPhone owner's confidential data after an hour.

5. Invest In Data Protection

Protecting user data  is more important than creating new privacy policies or updating old ones. It's critical to ensure you have suitable data protection measures in place which could mean hiring a Data Protection Officer, training staff on the data protection best practices and ensuring your systems are adequately protected against insider threats and external attacks.

There are a number of ways to defend your data, but it's always good to start with the basics like implementing robust cybersecurity measures, ensuring your data is encrypted and establishing a Zero Trust strategy.  We cover all of this and more in our Comprehensive Data Security Guide.

Data privacy is a major discussion point in almost every country in the world right now - with Gartner predicting that by the end of 2024, 75% of the world will be covered by some form of data protection regulation.

Non-adherence to privacy laws can cause huge consequences including reputational damage, non-compliance fines and loss of consumer trust.  

Zendata can help you avoid all of this and more with our comprehensive data protection and privacy compliance platform.  

At Zendata, our aim is clear: to offer a reliable and practical platform that aligns your business with the latest data protection and privacy laws and regulations and detects potential risks in your customer-facing applications, databases and source code to prevent data breaches.

Our solutions are designed to support your strategic objectives around data protection and privacy compliance and integrate seamlessly into your business operations to provide a solid foundation to maintain data integrity, compliance and customer trust.

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5 Steps To Enhance Data Privacy In Your Applications That Don't Involve Privacy Policies

August 2, 2022

Regulatory bodies continue to prioritise privacy expectations for mobile apps, websites and software. For most businesses, protecting their image is the priority and protecting their customer's data and right to privacy comes second. The easiest way to do both is to comply with data privacy regulations and only collect the data they need.

Companies often think the most crucial component to secure user privacy is a comprehensive privacy policy. So they seek legal help to draft documents that say the right things, or use an online generator or a privacy policy maker. However, forming new policies is not always the way to secure customer privacy.

In this short article, we'll highlight 5 steps you can take to enhance data privacy in your customer-facing applications.

1. Take a Human-Centric Approach to Data Privacy

How would you feel if you told a friend your deepest secrets and they told everyone else they know? You'd be devastated and you'd likely feel betrayed. So why would you do that to your customers?

Yes, your company needs user data to function, to grow and to survive - but, in most cases, you have been given that data for one specific reason and it shouldn't be shared with anyone or used for any purpose other than the one you collected it for.

Is sharing sensitive data with other companies or suppliers necessary? Just because you could stand to benefit financially or in some other manner does not mean you should act against the interests of your customers.

Ever since GDPR came into force in 2018, it has been compulsory to take a human-centric approach to data privacy and put the customer first. Now, as other data privacy laws come into affect around the world, they all hold this tenet at their core.

2. Stop Tracking Users

Users can sometimes share too much information online, which can jeopardize their privacy and security. Despite this, many apps still closely monitor those who value their privacy. If an app requires the use of trackers, it should aim to collect as little data as possible from users. It's best to avoid collecting any unnecessary data about their online activities.

Collecting data from your users without their knowledge or consent is frowned upon at best and, depending on where you live in the world, illegal at worst. This doesn't just apply to their sensitive, personal data - it extends to information about their online purchases, the other apps they use, their activities on those apps and the duration of the time they spend on them.

It is crucial to be transparent with users about the data collected and avoid unethical practices to obtain data from your application's users.

3. Adhere To Your Privacy Policy

It's important for companies to adhere to the practices they set out in their privacy policy. Your privacy policy isn't just there to fulfill a requirement or avoid regulatory issues. Rather, it should be viewed as an essential document that provides valuable information to your users.

Everyone responsible for your mobile app must understand the privacy policy thoroughly. Think of it as a rule book that you must follow. Avoid making promises to your users that you cannot keep, as this will make it difficult for you to comply with the privacy policy.

It's not a one off exercise - you must review your privacy policy periodically to ensure that you remember what you have committed to and can act accordingly. 

4. Challenge Warrants

Government agencies and law enforcement recognise that applications have access to a significant amount of customer data. As a result, they want to leverage this data to gather intelligence, including location, last active time on an app, IP address and other information, to aid in the investigation of crimes and to locate suspects.

For instance, the United States Government often gathers user data from tech companies. As powerful as governments can be, you shouldn't just hand over user data to them whenever they ask. If you feel the request is too far-reaching or unnecessary data is requested, it's acceptable to challenge their requests.

Apple did exactly that when the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) failed to compel them to create a security loophole in an iPhone. This loophole was meant to help them get information from a criminal's iPhone. Though the refusal drew criticism, Apple maintained that it took that step because it was committed to the security of its customers.

Following this request, Apple implemented a security feature called USB Restricted Mode, which restricts access to the data on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch through the device's lightning port if it has been locked for more than an hour. The port would shut off the iPhone owner's confidential data after an hour.

5. Invest In Data Protection

Protecting user data  is more important than creating new privacy policies or updating old ones. It's critical to ensure you have suitable data protection measures in place which could mean hiring a Data Protection Officer, training staff on the data protection best practices and ensuring your systems are adequately protected against insider threats and external attacks.

There are a number of ways to defend your data, but it's always good to start with the basics like implementing robust cybersecurity measures, ensuring your data is encrypted and establishing a Zero Trust strategy.  We cover all of this and more in our Comprehensive Data Security Guide.

Data privacy is a major discussion point in almost every country in the world right now - with Gartner predicting that by the end of 2024, 75% of the world will be covered by some form of data protection regulation.

Non-adherence to privacy laws can cause huge consequences including reputational damage, non-compliance fines and loss of consumer trust.  

Zendata can help you avoid all of this and more with our comprehensive data protection and privacy compliance platform.  

At Zendata, our aim is clear: to offer a reliable and practical platform that aligns your business with the latest data protection and privacy laws and regulations and detects potential risks in your customer-facing applications, databases and source code to prevent data breaches.

Our solutions are designed to support your strategic objectives around data protection and privacy compliance and integrate seamlessly into your business operations to provide a solid foundation to maintain data integrity, compliance and customer trust.