Ethical Privacy – The New Way to Show You Respect the Privacy of Your Customers.

Privacy is difficult for businesses to manage and tough for people to understand but does it need to be like that? We think there’s a better way that benefits both. We call it ethical privacy.

Ethical Privacy

Is there such a thing as ethical privacy, and if there is, what does it look like?

This is the question that has niggled away at me and our small team for the last year.

As we all went into lockdown, our focus, along with many others, was on looking for ways to contribute to society and help businesses.

Being in privacy (another term for personal data compliance) we know all about privacy regulations (think GDPR etc.) and how they should be applied. But how could we help? How could we create something that was beneficial to businesses and that would make life easier and better for everyone?

We are all affected by privacy

Privacy is not an exciting area, but it does impact every one of us on a very personal level.

We’re all now well aware that our personal information is valuable to businesses. And we are increasingly concerned about how our personal information is used, either to our benefit, detriment, or our exploitation.

Remember Whatsapp privacy policy changes?

For example, when Whatsapp recently changed its privacy policy, we knew that we should make ourselves aware of what they are doing with our personal information.

At least then we would be sufficiently informed to consider moving to another messaging app if we disagreed with their use of our data.

But in reality, it’s difficult to read the small print, the legalese is confusing (possibly intentionally!), and who has the time anyway?

Privacy policies just don’t cut it anymore

This traditional approach of publishing a dense privacy policy that is difficult to read and hard to understand seems to be leftover from a different age. And yet, it’s how most businesses treat their customers today.

There has to be a better way.

Surely privacy should be easy to understand.

Surely, we should be able to have confidence in the businesses we give our most personal information to.

The principles of ethical privacy

For ethical privacy to work it needs to be mutually beneficial for people and businesses.

We believe it needs to help businesses do more business by building trusting relationships with customers.

It also needs to work for people by making it easy to understand what a business will do with their information. Simply, clearly and quickly.

The reality of privacy policies

Is it ethical for a business to hide behind a long-winded legal explanation of something so important to many of us?

But, of course, it’s not as simple as that.

Someone somewhere has to write these privacy policies in a legally binding manner and in line with the prevailing privacy regulations. They want to protect themselves and that’s understandable.

Writing compliant privacy policies is not easy though. Often it’s a job given to the lawyers to resolve so it’s no surprise that we often end up with torturously long and rambling wording, written in legalese.

What are the alternatives?

If the costs of a law firm are prohibitive then many businesses choose to use a privacy policy generator or simply copy and paste from some other website’s credible looking privacy policy.

Privacy policy generators are generally as bad as the lawyers for producing impenetrably long texts. They still don’t get over the problem of making the important issues simple for people to understand.

Copying from another website can be even worse. Without careful editing the end result can be more of a liability than a solution.

Which brings me to my next point.

What is ethical privacy?

Ethical privacy should be about doing the right thing.

It should work for businesses and for people. It should be simple, easy and, ideally, free so that every business can treat their customers with the respect they deserve when they hand over their personal information.

Do we have a solution for ethical privacy?

Of course we do!

We came up with a solution and I would like to share it with you.

After a year of hard work our team have created Privacy Center.

For want of a better description, Privacy Center is like a privacy policy on steroids! Privacy Center is automatically generated making it super-simple for any business to create and it’s free.

Most importantly, we designed Privacy Center to be easy to read and understand so businesses can communicate their privacy in an ethical way, openly and transparently.

It’s also smart in that it automatically updates when the regulations change and it has built in cleverness that makes the complicated things simple.

Of course we also need to make money, so we’ve built a comprehensive set of connected compliance tools for those businesses that need to do the whole documented compliance piece. 

But most businesses can keep it simple and just use the free Privacy Center.

Our invitation to you. Give it a go.

It’s early days and we are keen to hear what you think. We want Privacy Center to be the most ethical way to manage and communicate privacy and we would love it if you could give it a go.

Here’s to a bright future of mutual trust between brands and their customers, built on the principles of ethical privacy.

We look forward to hearing from you, we think you’re going to love it!