Data privacy is increasingly becoming a strategic priority for small businesses, mid-sized organizations, and large enterprises alike.
People are becoming increasingly privacy-aware in their dealings with digital-first companies and major institutions. Even small businesses may find a surprising amount of resistance to marketing initiatives that audiences consider too uncannily targeted.
At the same time, regulators around the world are issuing stricter compliance rules for companies of all sizes. Marketers, adtech vendors, and tech giants are trying to identify competitive opportunities in the managing and analysis of non-traditional data.
All of these developments speak to a shifting dynamic in the world of data privacy. After years of using intrusive third-party tracking cookies and complex user activity monitoring software, companies are starting to take potential abuses into greater account when deciding how to serve customers.
Now, leaders are starting to see the value of developing privacy-oriented workflows for customers and employees alike. However, they aren’t giving up on the value of targeted marketing campaigns or monitoring employees with software entirely.
The No-Compromises Approach to Privacy
Showing the wrong advertisements to people doesn’t generate sales. Tracking employees working from home without using attendance tracking software is difficult and prone to error. Today’s leaders don’t need to give up these useful technologies or the systems that rely on them – but they do have to adjust their approach.
Customers Like Their Privacy
When it comes to user privacy and sensitive customer data, the way you target potential customers matters. According to HubSpot research, 91% of people believe that today’s advertisements are more intrusive than they were a few years ago, and 79% believe adtech platforms are tracking their behavior.
It should come as no surprise that advertisers are seeing diminishing returns on ad spend that relies on personal data centric advertising techniques. Google, Apple, and Mozilla, who collectively make up the vast majority of browser users on the Internet, have already announced they will start disabling third-party advertising cookies by default.
Some adtech vendors are already hard at work creating new, privacy-conscious solutions to make up for this change. One promising approach uses household IP targeting to deliver targeted content to people based on the collective traffic of their local network. Others are turning towards their own first-party data for opportunities.
Organizations that respect their customers’ desire for privacy are better positioned to build a positive reputation in their communities. This can help brands position themselves as secure, privacy-oriented companies that deserve users’ trust.
Employees Value Consent and Respect
There are many different types of employee monitoring solutions on the market. Not all of them are equally capable of helping organizations meet privacy compliance goals.
Computer activity tracking software that records non-work-related device usage is a serious liability in today’s privacy-oriented environment. If you’re working with remote employees, you should be sure you’re monitoring employees only when they’re actually working – the distinction can be difficult to gauge.
Your remote workforce management software should be able to gather data on user activity for compliance and cybersecurity purposes without compromising employee privacy at the same time. Maintaining this delicate balance requires obtaining clear consent and respecting employees’ boundaries, wherever they set them.
The best way to do this is to introduce your remote workforce management software as more than a tool for monitoring employees. It should also include employee productivity tracking tools that they, as employees, can use to measure and improve their own performance. Let them choose whether that data is private or not.
A Privacy-Oriented Company Culture Generates Value
People’s attitudes towards their data are changing, and the nature of data-related regulations is expanding. Organizations that rethink their approach to data privacy and implement tools that address weak points in their data architecture can actually use privacy-oriented company culture as an asset in multiple ways.
Lower Overhead Costs
One of the fundamental assumptions of digital transformation initiatives of the past few decades is that organizations should keep track of everything. Companies are used to tracking data without even being sure what they need it for.
In today’s hyper-connected data environment, this approach is creating some additional problems for many companies:
- The more data you have, the more it costs to store. Cloud data storage and high-performance database architectures can quickly become significant costs.
- The higher the volume of data you collect, the harder it is to adequately secure. This leads to increased cybersecurity costs.
- Having too much data makes it harder for employees to find the data they need, when they need it. This can reduce employee productivity and make sophisticated architectures like Data Lakes necessary.
- The policy of keeping data on everything may violate new and emerging data regulations, increasing compliance overhead.
When business leaders start questioning the wisdom of simply keeping track of everything, they enable lower overhead costs and related efficiencies to spread throughout the organization.
Foster Creativity and Boost Innovation
Marketers already know how to use third-party tracking cookies. HR supervisors are aware of the benefits of monitoring employees. However, the gains they can realize through these traditional approaches are limited. That’s mostly because everyone else is already doing the same thing.
Intentionally limiting the data that you can use (and the way you allow your employees to use it) can have a net positive impact on developing compliant, future-proof solutions for today’s most pressing challenges. Instead of relying on techniques that result in diminishing returns, you can incentivize managers to innovate.
Establishing a privacy-oriented company culture can radically transform some of the ways your management team does business. You can use remote workforce management software to augment data visualization initiatives and gain insight into how your best performers actually work.
Once you do that, you can leverage those insights in a variety of ways. You may identify new tools and workflows that can drastically improve time-to-value for business-critical tasks. You may find obstacles between top-talent and optimal performance. You may even identify the next generation of leaders in your ranks.
Use Privacy to Improve Productivity
Privacy and productivity have a close and subtle relationship. Employees do their best work when they feel they are trusted. At the same time, data privacy compliance requires employers to know how employees handle sensitive data.
It falls on managers to find ways to improve productivity while respecting employee privacy and mitigating data security risks. Adopting a privacy-positive workplace culture helps employees feel trusted and competent.
Giving employees the ability to distinguish between personal and work-related activities on their own is an important aspect of the privacy-oriented work environment. It transforms the use of remote workforce management software from a requirement to a valuable asset – something they can use to set their own boundaries.
By sharing performance analytics data with your employees, you incentivize them to improve their capabilities and improve output over time. When done right, this becomes an internal motivator for them – not a quota that you establish at the beginning of every quarter.