By Chris Ogden, CEO of RubiBlue
This is why your business should be holding privacy with tongs – it’s time to stop burning fingers…
Privacy has become an incredibly hot topic this past few months. From the WhatsApp debate to the implementation of more rigorous legislation – both in South Africa and abroad – privacy remains a contentious issue that puts the spotlight on the business and its processes.
GovChat took a legal review on WhatsApp Business as it uses the platform to communicate with many citizens and leaving could cripple the business. Multiple companies have invested into the channel as a means of collaborating with clients or engaging with customers, and the January debate made everyone stop, think and reassess.
But was it actually a debate at all? The privacy requirements that were highlighted by hype were no different from the ones that people signed years before, the only changes were to how organisations engaged with the platform. And those changes were still secure, private and aligned with the law. However, this debate wasn’t for nothing. It drew a big red line underneath the growing need for companies to pay attention to privacy. To invest into solutions and platforms that ensure they are complying with POPIA and GDPR regulations. To dig into company policy and behaviour to ensure that the business won’t be suddenly held liable for a giant, and unexpected, fine.
Compliance with POPIA and GDPR should be the most important privacy item on the business agenda. It should be tackled strategically and executed seamlessly – companies need to understand where privacy has to be applied, both internally and externally, and it needs to be prioritised.
There will always be risk involved
There is risk in any technology, any collaboration tool or platform. Companies need to understand all the risks before they embark on any new investment, and they need to wrap company and personal data up tightly in the most secure bow on the market. Privacy concerns, fines, regulations – these aren’t going away any time soon, in fact they are likely to worsen, so now is the time to build secure and compliant foundations that keep the business in, well, business.