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A Helpful Guide to Consent Management: Everything You Need to Know – Digital Business Grow

With so many people using the internet nowadays, it’s no surprise that many businesses have transitioned over to the digital world in order to make more money. The internet is used for a lot of things from paying bills to browsing social media and doing online shopping. However, in order to ensure online browsers are safe, consent is key.

Consent management is something that you’ll likely be aware of if you’re an owner of a business or you’re responsible for operating the online side of the business. For any company existing online and welcoming traffic to their site, it’s important to have consent management protocols in place that protect a customer’s data. 

With recent data and privacy acts coming into play, companies need to be extremely careful in what they collect and what they can store data-wise. With that said, this helpful guide should hopefully provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to consent management and implementing it into a business in 2022.

Consent management informs the user that’s on the site, and how the business is collecting user data. This provides users to control what businesses access. They can either consent or refuse depending on what’s being taken and how it’s being used or stored.

This is usually created as a number of policies and likely implements more than just one best practice. The consent management framework ensures compliance with all the relevant data privacy laws in place that a business would have to adhere to.

With more data breaches and cyber-attacks occurring, 74% of internet users in the US alone are more concerned about their online privacy than ever before. It means they’re more likely to click off a site or business page that doesn’t allow them to control their consent to data on-site.

The result of not adhering to these privacy laws can be fines and significant reputational damage.

There are three types of consent that a user can choose from and these are opt-in, opt-out, or a hybrid option two. 

  • Opt-in – The opt-in consent option means that the user will confirm that they are happy to consent to the collection and use of information. This can be in the form of cookies, subscriptions, and other methods.
  • Opt-out – The opt-out option is one where a user must take action to uncheck any pre-checked boxes or fill out a form in order to withdraw their consent that may have automatically been given previously before data privacy laws were in place. It’s worth noting that for some countries, this opt-out method is no longer accepted.
  • Hybrid – A hybrid option is often used, especially with privacy policies and laws changing. This helps companies remain compliant more efficiently with the privacy acts in place and works with both elements of opt-in and opt-out models depending on the type of data needed.

The type of consent you use will often depend on what types of information you use and how you present these consent options. For most businesses, the hybrid option seems to be the most appropriate one as it can be tailored to whatever needs and requirements you have for consent.

With all this in mind, how do you implement consent management into your business effectively? Here are a few helpful tips to ensure a business remains compliant when it comes to consent.

A consent management platform is going to help you effectively manage everything to do with providing the right options and allowing users to decide on whether they want to share their data or not.

A platform like Osano.com for example is a great option for businesses looking to take the hassle off of creating their own consent policies. It gives both the business and customers peace of mind that everything is being done correctly and by the book. 

There are many platforms like this, so it’s worth looking at what each one offers and how much it costs the business. For Osano, you can try it for free for 30 days, and then it’s £81.43 per month£162.86 per month, or custom depending on your requirements.

Only ask for the data you need

When acquiring customer data, you don’t need to know every little detail or hold every single piece of information they give over to you, or that’s optional to do so. With that in mind, consider what data you’re looking for and what other data you can forgo requesting or keeping on your databases for more than is needed.

For example, you may want to remove certain contact details after a customer is done with your services or has purchased and had their product arrive.

The less data you can hold, the better, especially as it can make things easier when remaining compliant for longer. With privacy laws forever changing, it can be time-saving for businesses when less effort needs to be made on making updates to the systems you have in place for data collection and storage. 

Stay up to date with the latest privacy laws

There are many more privacy laws and data protection policies in place than ever. More countries are identifying the need to protect user consent and so many more are popping up. It does mean that those businesses who have a global customer presence, will need to ensure that every different privacy law is being complied with.

Staying up to date with the latest privacy laws should be part and parcel of the efforts of a business to keep users safe. There are lots of online resources that you can stay informed with in order to keep track of changes within these laws, mainly the privacy law sites themselves like GDPR for example. 

Keep the business secure and at low risk of attacks

It’s no surprise that cyber attacks are becoming more frequent. It’s something to be expected as more and more individuals make their way online. A digital footprint can make you vulnerable and that goes for any business too, regardless of its size.

To lower the risks of an attack, of any scale, it’s necessary to have the right security measures and framework in place to minimize a data breach or attack from external sources.

Cybercriminals are becoming smarter in their methods, so as a business, it’s important to constantly improve those security measures where possible. 

There are many benefits to consent management and it matters more so to have it in place than ever before. Consent management helps to keep your users safe but it also helps keep the business safe from outside harm and the fallout that comes from breaching consent. Here are some of the benefits of having consent management in place. 

Your consumers want transparency and trust

Having the ability to consent is more than just giving the customer the power to choose. It’s also about providing transparency as an organization and helping to build trust. Trust is a big part of business success because if your customers don’t trust you, chances are they’ll go elsewhere.

With only 34% of consumers trusting the brands they use, more needs to be done to help form stronger relationships between the customer and the brand, as well as the business behind it.

A business can avoid fines 

Fines aren’t something any business will want to incur, especially as receiving fines can also lead to reputational damage. When businesses don’t comply with the privacy laws in place, it can result in those businesses receiving hefty fines. For GDPR as an example, failure to be compliant results in fines of up to 17 million euros or 4% of the company’s annual turnover.

These fines for some businesses can lead to substantial loss of earnings which could ultimately ruin a business indefinitely.

It’s personalizable 

With a consent management platform in place, you can personalize the experience that the user has fully. These platforms are designed to help adapt to the business in question, rather than to make it more challenging to introduce content-driven processes. 

As a business, it’s important that your organization knows about consent management and to put this into practice if it’s not yet in place. Chances are you already have it but it can be beneficial to improve upon it if it’s feeling a little outdated.

Introduce consent management to your business and should you need to, explore the options available when it comes to consent management platforms that can help you improve upon whatever’s in place.

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