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PRIVACY EXPERT OFFERS STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING CUSTOMER INFORMATION

Source: Information Week

Posted on November 14, 2007

      Want some tips on how to improve data security and increase customer loyalty? An attorney with a new book on privacy says she has just the thing for business leaders.

      Jacqueline Klosek says there are several things businesses can do to reduce the chances of data breaches, prepare for possible government inquiries, and increase customer trust.

      Klosek, a senior counsel in business law department of Goodwin Procter LLP, where she practices intellectual property law, has authored three books: The Legal Guide to e-Business, Data Privacy in the Information Age, and her latest, The War on Privacy.

      She recommends companies should first perform audits to determine what data they collect, how it is used, who shares it, and how it is protected. Next, they should develop a broad privacy policy, which clearly states how a company can be contacted and the types of third- party requests that result in the release of information, she said.

      Companies should anticipate subpoenas demanding customer information and draft policies that reflect the protections they can realistically provide for customers, Klosek said. She advises clients to obtain prior consent about potential data transfers to government, business partners, and service providers.

      Outsourcing can pose a threat to data security, as well. Klosek, who also serves on an advisory board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals, recommends that companies investigate privacy complaints against service providers and researching to ensure compliance with all national and foreign laws.

      Finally, use a Web-site-monitoring program that routinely scans a site to make sure it hasn't been hacked and to make sure that the privacy protections are working, she said.




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