In his 2009 paper Digital Ethics, Richard Capurro described digital ethics as, “the impact of digital Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on our societies and the environment at large.” But, what does that mean for your business and customers?
What is Digital Ethics?
Whether you’re a small, local business or a seasoned global enterprise, you have a moral – and regulatory – obligation to protect your employees’ and customers’ confidential information. Part of understanding digital ethics is knowing how far is too far. Can you use your customers’ search history to send them emails about products they may be interested in buying? How about using video surveillance from your stores to create customer profiles and send shoppers emails about products they were looking at in store? Understanding digital ethics includes determining that line and being self-aware so you don’t cross it.
Questions to Ask Yourself
To figure out where the line is, you should first ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have permission to use this information?
- Can this information be used for malicious purposes?
- Is this information helpful to customers (i.e., does it improve their experience)?
This year the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act, which requires businesses to gain permission before using information obtained about customers. While the regulation only applies to protecting EU residents, it requires businesses all over the world to comply to protect any EU resident visiting their site. By asking the above questions, you can find the fine line between ethical and unethical behavior while meeting compliance rules set by GDPR.
Creating and Implementing a Plan
Once you know where the line is, you need to create a plan to protect your customers’ confidential information and keep your business safe. What security measures are in place to prevent cyber criminals from obtaining and selling your customers’ data? Do you have data backup and recovery plans and a multi-layered security solution to protect confidential data from every angle?
How We Can Help
As your managed services partner, we’ll help you protect your customers’ privacy by implementing a security solution that encrypts their data and keeps cyber criminals out. We begin by evaluating your systems and pinpointing vulnerabilities. Then, we gauge your goals to determine which security solutions are most effective for protecting your customers’ and employees’ confidential information, implement them, and support them post-deployment so you can focus on growing your business.
When it comes to understanding ethics and privacy, you don’t have to face it alone. From finding the fine line to deploying a solution that protects confidential data, we’ll help you implement a practical plan. Contact us today to get started.