This Thursday, January 28, marks Data Privacy Day 2021. If you run in privacy circles, you may have already seen the flurry of #PrivacyAware social activity and webinars this month from National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and friends. While Data Privacy Day is indeed a “made-up holiday,” and it’s not as fun (National Beach Day, August 30), delicious (National Donut Day, June 4), or cute (National Puppy Day, March 23) as other awareness days, it’s still important to create a moment where we pause to recognize the profound value of respecting users’ privacy.
We’re happy to see this year’s theme for businesses is Respect Privacy because, as NCSA puts it, “respecting consumers’ privacy is a smart strategy for inspiring trust and enhancing reputation and growth in your business.” The DataGrail team fully agrees, and as CEO Daniel Barber wrote in Forbes, “Access to customer data is a social contract, and trust is a measure of how well that social contract is doing… Trust can be a powerful differentiator in defining and protecting a company’s brand.”
This is only DataGrail’s third Data Privacy Day and the privacy landscape has already changed significantly. When we launched in 2018 right after the GDPR took effect, the biggest challenge facing businesses was how to achieve compliance with new regulations. Without solutions like DataGrail, it was incredibly time-consuming and resource-intensive to determine where customer data flowed through internal apps and databases. Just a few years later, Data Privacy Management is a robust category (one that DataGrail is leading in NPS, feature satisfaction, and ROI).
The challenge now is no longer how to achieve compliance, but how to turn privacy into a competitive advantage. The technology for delivering on data privacy regulations is not the hard part anymore. Worrying if more regulations are coming down the pike is not useful anymore. (Because like it or not, more regulations are happening.) Businesses should not view privacy and trust infrastructure requirements as a burden. They should view privacy as a brand differentiator, an engine to generate customer trust and brand loyalty.
The Age of Privacy has arrived and the businesses that adapt now are poised for future success.
For Thursday’s Data Privacy Day, the DataGrail team will be hanging out in the #PrivacyAware social media streams. We hope to see you around virtually.