Privacy and your Business
Technology is everywhere! Our daily lives are saturated with the need for technology; we are connected 24/7 and customers often dictate a 24/7-service expectation. Since technology changes so fast it can sometimes seem next to impossible to keep up, which can leave you more susceptible to a privacy breach. One system hack can shut down your business, have a negative impact on your business’ reputation and can greatly reduce your customer’s loyalty and trust.
What is a privacy breach? It involves improper or unauthorized collection, use, disclosure, retention or disposal of personal information. It can occur within a business or off-site. It can be the result of inadvertent errors or malicious actions by employees, third parties, business partners or intruders.
What are some potential causes?
- Theft, loss or disappearance of equipment or devices containing personal information
- Use of equipment or devices to transport or store personal information outside the office for telework or off-site work
- Inappropriate use of electronic devices to transmit personal information
- Unauthorized access
- Low level privacy awareness among employees
- Inadequate provisions to protect personal information
- Insufficient measures to control access to it
- Phishing, deceptive tactics
It’s all a matter of time:
WHEN will you suffer a privacy breach?
WHAT are you doing to prevent and prepare?
WILL you be ready?
Are you aware of BILL S-4 (Digital Privacy Act)? What does it mean for your business? Are you liable for the safe keeping of personal information?
As a business, you are responsible for the safekeeping of your customer's personal information. In more and more circumstances you are also responsible for notifying your customers of possible and known privacy breaches where their personal information could have been compromised.
The costs to your business could easily reach the 100's of thousands of dollars if not millions. Regardless of prudent financial planning, assuming costs that large is not easy for anyone to do.
What about insurance?
Many companies can endorse your commercial policy with varying limits. This is a layer of protection but be careful as not all add-ons are created equal. Even if the endorsement is only $100.00/year, if it does not protect you against your exposures you will be throwing away $100/year.
You can purchase a comprehensive Cyber Security & Privacy Liability policy, which is designed to protect against first and third party losses. This separate policy offers the best protection but again you need to talk with your broker and be vigilant in understanding what you are covered for.