In recent years, online privacy has increasingly become a thorny issue for websites and businesses. Individuals and governments alike are demanding stricter regulations on how companies store and process the vast amounts of personal information they collect on consumers every day.

In May 2018, the EU enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a series of laws which both oblige companies to process personal information in a transparent manner and grant individuals far greater control over the data a company has stored on them.

In response to the new legislation, several companies are now turning to privacy centers. A privacy center is a convenient tool – in essence a control panel – with which users can manage their privacy settings and view the data which a company has stored on them.

Privacy centers allow companies to meet a host of new obligations stipulated by emerging data privacy laws. Under the GDPR,  for instance, personal information must be provided to users upon request and individuals have the right to modify or delete data stored on them at any time. On 1st January 2020, the recently passed California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will come into force, granting residents of California the right to know exactly what personal data is being stored on them, how it is stored, and how it was collected. Individuals will also gain the right to access and delete personal information, or block companies operating in California from selling that information to third parties.

For businesses, employing someone to deal with such requests would be expensive and time-consuming. Using privacy centers can spare both human and financial resources, as it puts the onus on consumers to modify data if they wish to do so.

As stricter laws on data storage emerge around the world, privacy centers will become a key tool for websites and companies in avoiding non-compliance fines. Under the GDPR, failure to fulfill a consumer’s request to access, rectify or delete data could result in a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of annual revenue, depending on which sum is higher.

In addition to saving time and resources, privacy centers also help establish trust between a business and its users. Individuals with access to information about the rights and control they have in relation to their data are likely to have high confidence in that company – something extremely beneficial for customer loyalty.

We  have developed a privacy center tool to help companies adhere to new data regulations and maintain a reputation as a transparent organization. Our privacy control panel, included in the Clym Essential package, will be launched in September 2018 and is designed to give users an intuitive platform where they can manage cookie settings and data subject requests, view company policies, procedures, terms and agreements, and access consent receipts. All of these features will be displayed using a Privacy Widget, which can easily be integrated into a company’s web page.

In October, we will then launch Clym Ledger, an additional tool allowing third party applications to send consent receipts into our ledger as proof of an individual’s consent. Then in December the first version of Clym Pro will be launched, adding complex user profiles and preference centers to the Clym Essential package.

To ensure maximum security, data subjects have their own login details. Whenever a user tries to review a communication related to a data subject request or tries to submit such a request, we will verify their identity through a confirmation email and validation link, thereby preventing sinister data access requests.

Soon, our privacy center tools will also help companies keep track of their employees’ obligations under GDPR, which require them to be trained in data privacy. Employees will have individual profiles within the company’s privacy center, allowing employers to view who has completed a given training program and who has yet to do so.

With increasing public scrutiny on online privacy, companies of all sizes must ensure that they communicate honestly and openly with their users. Using privacy centers, our goal is to provide  small and medium-sized businesses with an indispensable tool for maintaining transparency and adhering to new rules, whilst saving them time and money.