New Challenges that Data Collection Represents to Your Clients

How Big Data Shifts Legal Department Decisions

Data – it powers every company in the world today. It’s the single most valuable business asset in existence. Hackers and bad actors go to great lengths to steal not money, but information, simply because it is more valuable than cash. However, data collection is necessary in order for businesses to make use of this asset, and that can present serious challenges to law firm clients. What sorts of new challenges does data collection represent to your clients?

Data Collection Can Lead to Privacy Missteps

One challenge that many businesses face when it comes to data collection from their customers, clients, or audience is an invasion of privacy.

Digital technology has made it simpler than ever to track actions, at least in the online world. With ad tracking software, companies are now able to see where website visitors come from, what pages they visit while they’re on the website, how long they spend on pages, and where they go when they leave the site.

They can also re-target those consumers with ads for products they looked at while on the site on myriad other sites, including Facebook and Instagram. It can be very easy to slip across the line and become too invasive.

Noncompliance Issues Facing Your Clients

The single most common challenge to face law firm clients in the realm of data collection is failure to comply with legal and industry rules and regulations.

Some of the most important regulations to know today are GDPR – the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation – and CCPA – the California Consumer Privacy Act. Both of these are similar in that they spell out what data businesses are allowed to collect, how they’re allowed to use that information, and what they must tell consumers about the information they collect and use.

However, they’re not identical, and compliance with one does not equal compliance with both. Moreover, a business may be affected by one, both, or neither, depending on where their customers and/or business partners are located around the world. And, these are just two examples. There are numerous other compliance issues that touch on the world of data collection, from HIPAA to SOX, FACTA, and more. It can be incredibly challenging to ensure that a business is always in compliance with all of the various rules and regulations out there, but failure to do so can land a business in hot legal water.

Security Challenges Sparked by Data Collection

In addition to complying with regulations like CCPA and the GDPR, businesses must also protect that data from thieves who would love to get their hands on it. While security is spelled out in some regulations, like HIPAA, it’s not in all of them, and not all businesses understand their responsibilities when it comes to safeguarding consumer data, as is evidenced by the ongoing spate of massive data breaches.

Ultimately, the age of Big Data is here to stay, but businesses large and small can face many hurdles when it comes to data collection and storage.