Almost every business collects uses and records customer information in some way, shape or form. Your business may obtain names, addresses, telephone numbers, credit and debit card information, social security numbers or health care and insurance information in the ordinary course of business. This data is often required in order for you to be able to serve your customers. However, you are responsible for keeping this data secure and your business must comply with Federal and state laws governing it. The loss, theft and/or unauthorized use of this information could have devastating effects on your customer’s lives and on your business.
New technology has enabled businesses to be more efficient and serve a broader customer base. But, these technologies also come with the overwhelming risk of a customer data breach. Therefore, you must be proactive in safeguarding this information. In order to do this you should create a privacy and security policy. The first step is to sit down and think about the type of information your business deals with and how it currently does so. You should then consider who has access to this data. It is also a good idea to make a list of these individuals so that you know who needs to be specially trained once you formulate a plan. It is then imperative that you contact a business law attorney and a technology consultant, if the information is stored electronically, so that they can advise you as to the most secure, efficient and cost-effective options available to you. A business law attorney will be able to explain the legal implications of a breach and ensure that you are in compliance with Federal and state laws. Once you create a policy you should make it known by creating a written document to be distributed to employees and customers.
Privacy and security issues are not to be taken lightly. If you are a business owner, you should worry about losing data, the theft and unauthorized use of information by employees and third parties, compliance actions and private litigation relating to these issues. Your business and your customers would be best served by your attention to detail in this area. Contact a seasoned business law attorney to discuss these issues today.