Ensuring Data Safety through Consent Management

Ensuring Data Safety through Consent Management

Before you can do anything regarding your marketing or customer service, you need to gather the right data. Still, your efforts to collect and store this data must avoid violating any laws or regulations that have jurisdiction over your business or those of your users/customers.

Several YouTube’s attempts to hamper the use of adblockers have resulted in failure because it didn’t sit well with the GDPR. In other words, not even a massive platform like YouTube or a huge conglomerate like Google/Alphabet is above regulations.

Before you can do anything with or about this data, you need their consent. Here’s how you can do this safely and efficiently with the help of a consent management platform. 

One of the first things you need to understand is that manually managing all the compliances isn’t an option. It’s just not feasible. There are too many things to handle and keep in mind, too many jurisdictions and compliances.

You see, it’s not just the country that you’re residing in and where your business is registered that you have to worry about. You also need to consider the regulations of the regions that your audience comes from.

The best example of this is the GDPR and the fact that you’re under their jurisdiction as long as any of your clients are from the EU. Now, who can claim that none of their customers are from EU or California (so that they’re not under CCPA).

With the help of the right preference management software, you’ll have a much easier job keeping a tighter ship regarding all the user data.

One of the side-effects of this will be the increase in user experience and trust, seeing as how those who pay attention will notice that you’re taking this seriously. Even those who aren’t actively paying attention might notice that there’s no past history of data security slip-ups.

Most importantly, since consent is more dynamic than you know, it’s important that you understand the relevance of tracking the way it’s updated in real-time. There are new rules and regulations every day, and keeping track of them is more challenging than you assume. 

One last thing: through automation provided by these platforms, you can ensure that all your measures are systematic. This way, there are no gaps through which a mistake or an error can slip. 


It’s hard to discuss consent management platforms without addressing some of their biggest features.

First, the name already indicates that it’s a platform made to collect and manage user data. This usually involves the configuration and selection of cookie banners, the ability to personalize them for a better user experience, and even offer different consent choices for different purposes.

Then, there’s the issue of customization, which stands as a stand-alone feature. Here, you can choose from different templates and consent banner designs. It’s also to understand the importance of customization for the sake of integration with websites. This is especially relevant since websites, mobile apps, plugins, social media platforms, and even third-party providers all need to be factored into the equation.

For all of this, you need API support. Otherwise, your ability to customize your cookie banners won’t be just limited by your ability but by the actual technical capabilities of the platform.

Automation and real-time updates are also incredibly important. Skipping an instance of asking for consent is a mistake that will not be forgiven. Therefore, you need to avoid making it altogether. The simplest way to do so is to automate it and forget about it. 

Ultimately, what you’re also looking for are real-time updates. Regulations are updated all the time, and so are extensions that you use. In the digital world and with all these platforms available, there’s no leniency toward missing something. These need to be implemented immediately (in real time). 

How do we keep customer data safe?

Gathering customer data is a huge challenge, but it’s just a first step in a much bigger struggle. You must also find a way to keep it safe at all times.

First, you need to start with data minimization. This is a concept that involves keeping only the most relevant (the most necessary) customer data and ignoring everything else. You can never lose something you don’t have, and you can’t leak the data that you don’t have. In fact, according to some rules and regulations, there’s a very limited amount of information types that you’re allowed to gather and use.

Second, you need to ensure that the data is safe every step of the way. In order to do this, you need to ensure that data is encrypted in transit and penetration-safe in storage. The best way to ensure the latter is to invest heavily in cybersecurity and even outsource your system penetration testing to someone capable. 

Most of the time, a leak will happen as the result of the negligence of your own audience. This is something you should never ignore or tolerate. Invest more time and energy into employee training and even go through their learning materials yourself. Is everything in order, and should something be brought up to date? Find a way to make this training immersive and test them on every occasion.

Someone malicious getting their hands on this data is not the only concern. What about losing it for good? These are valuable digital assets, and you’ve worked hard (and for a good reason) to gather them. Learn a thing or two about the backup and even consider getting premium backuping software. 

Consent management is always important; however, there are some scenarios in which it’s an absolute priority. 

First of all, when you’re dealing with sensitive data collection, it’s essential that you get consent. So, what is sensitive data? Generally speaking, there are a few types of data that would be classified as sensitive.

  • Education records
  • Customer information
  • Cardholder data
  • Protected health information
  • Sensitive personal data

For your general purposes, chances are that the financial information is the big point of contention. The rules are there to help users protect their finances, and for businesses to minimize their exposure to hacking attacks.  

Then, there’s the issue of targeted advertising. A user needs to have the option to opt out of targeted advertising or, at least, some forms of ads. This is only possible when you handle consent management the right way.

Then, there are cross-border transfers of information, which we’ve already mentioned. Different regions have different regulations regarding data management, customer protection, etc. It’s vital that you acknowledge this and address it the right way. You need to acknowledge all the regional regulations, as well as any laws that you’re subject to. 

You see, the downsides of ignoring proper consent management are so numerous.

First, you’re at a risk of suffering finess for non-compliance with financial regulations. These range from thousands to millions of dollars and you may even be forced to close or prevented from running a business if you fail to comply.

Then, there are all sorts of non-material penalties that will be imposed on you. If nothing else, you’ll be audited more often than others in your field.

Lastly, your reputation will suffer a hit. People will notice that you’re non-compliant, and they’ll press hard against you. This is something you shouldn’t ignore.  

What are the different types of consent?

Generally speaking, there are three major types of consent that you should be familiar with.

  • Opt-in consent: This is when users consent to the collection of their personal information. The important thing to remember is that this is an action that they have to take. They have to actively click on the agree button somewhere for this to work. 
  • Opt-out consent: They need to have an action that allows them to withdraw from the contract. Their agreement is implied unless they choose to opt out; however, they need to be presented with the opt-out option before you start collecting data.
  • Hybrid consent model: This is a model that combines both opt-in and opt-out consent. For instance, the opt-out model may apply to things like email information (the basic, non-sensitive information). At the same time, you may require an opt-in consent for some more sensitive info.

As you can see from the hybrid model, the use of these models depends on a number of factors, but you can combine them for your convenience and that of your users. Just bear in mind that this is not just about convenience - it’s about the law. Suppose you can get both, great. If not, it’s easy to understand what goes first. 

Managing consent is the key to safely and legally collecting private information of your site’s visitors. This is something that every business needs to do in order to survive and thrive. In other words, you have no choice - it’s something you have to do and there’s just one way to do it right.  With the right tool/process, it becomes a lot easier. 

Editorial Team
This article was written by Editorial a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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