The Ins and Outs of Consumer Privacy

What do retailers need to know about protecting and removing consumer information?

October 21, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—During the past few years, there’s been an evolution in protecting consumer information. The emphasis has moved from merely letting a consumer know if there’s been a theft of personal data to informing a consumer what information a company collects, where it got the information and how the company will use the information. On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Protecting Consumer Privacy,” Danny Omiliak, senior consultant with W. Capra, and Paige Anderson, NACS director of government relations, discuss what retailers need to know about the changing privacy protection regulations.

“Data security focus on the last 30 years focused more on collecting data and securing the most sensitive data out there, like Social Security and credit card numbers,” Omiliak said. “As more data is collected by websites, social media platforms and even our own devices, there is now an enhanced need to secure more types of data. This data might not be as sensitive, … but consumers need an option to have that data stay private if they wish to.”

Currently, different states and countries have passed laws that enhance consumer rights related to their data. For example, in the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) paved the way for consumer privacy. [For more on CCPA, read “Pulling Back the Curtain on Privacy” from the March 2020 issue of NACS Magazine.]

“In the past, if there was a data breach, a retailer easily knew what information the consumer had provided and what information you had,” Anderson said. “But in these days, … consumers didn’t even know that these companies were collecting personal information, selling this information, and in some cases, misusing this information.”

For more on consumer privacy and what role retailers can play in protecting it, listen to the episode here. Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.

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