Privacy is a major issue in business. Collection of personal information, onselling of personal data, and phishing scams are extremely sensitive matters for all businesses.
This generates a lot of requests for information regarding privacy matters from businesses. It is quite common for businesses to be accused of onselling data to marketers, or blamed for insecure data which has created problems for customers.
This is an extremely tricky and dangerous legal situation.
All businesses are strongly advised to become fully familiar with the requirements of privacy laws.
Do NOT assume any complaint about possible breaches of your security is unfounded.
If one of your customers has a problem, you may have a problem, too. The complaints are potential lifesavers for your business.
The letter in response to an inquiry about privacy must contain:
- A clear statement of your privacy policies.
- Information regarding your collection of information from customers.
- Answers to specific questions.
These are very basic requirements for content. If in doubt regarding an inquiry regarding policy, get appropriate legal advice or advice from a government regulator of privacy laws.
The example below relates to a concern that information regarding a customer has been leaked to a trade advertiser in the same field as the business. The customer is receiving unwanted advertising material, and feel that the business has onsold their details to the advertiser. This is very common, it does happen, and it does relate to privacy of consumer information.
I refer to your letter of (date) concerning possible use of information regarding your contact details being provided to an advertiser by this company.
We appreciate your natural concern for the privacy of your personal information, and understand how annoying this very common problem can be.
- It is our policy never to onsell or divulge any information regarding our customers to any third party unless required by due process of law.
- As a matter of policy, no information is accessible to any third party through either our online services or any other means.
With regard to your specific concerns regarding the advertiser, Electronics 4 Everyone, we have had no prior dealings with this firm, and have no information regarding their business practices.
I'm sorry we can't assist you with this issue, but I hope we've at least reassured you of the security of your customer records with us.
- This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
- Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
- Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.