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Data Best Practice: The Power of the Privacy Notice

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This article is written by Leah Munting, chair of the Best Practice hub and member of the Customer Data Council.

Data protection and privacy notices can be more than just fulfilling a legal requirement under the legislation introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25 2018.

They can be a powerful customer service and engagement tool, that helps increase your transparency and builds trust with your customers.

This is especially important as people become increasingly more aware of their data protection rights.

A study by Marketing Week showed that nearly half of consumers spoken to said they understood their rights around how their personal data was used and a huge 93% of those interviewed had heard about the GDPR.

How should organisations respond to this surge in consumer-knowledge?

One of your first steps should be to review your privacy policy. Here are some best practice steps:

Consider the privacy notice as a relationship opportunity

The privacy notice is an important opportunity to build a relationship, increase trust and improve your brand in the eyes of new and existing customers, so use it.

Ask yourself why people are viewing it.

Could they be a concerned current or potential customer? Do they have questions about how their data will be used? How can we provide reassurance?

Think about what questions are most important to your consumers and then set about answering them.

  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
  • Answer the questions your customers have
  • Regard this communication as important as anything else you publish

Make it clear

Using simple, plain and honest language will mean you have a privacy notice that answers questions rather than raises them.

Customers should finish reading your notice and have a rounded understanding of what is being done with their data.

Consider that they may have additional questions you had not thought of, so contact details of who to get in touch with should be included.

  • Do not resort to jargon
  • Simplify legal terminology so it is easy to understand

Ensure compliance with the law

It is important to check your updated privacy policy is compliant with the law before publishing:

  • Consult the DMA
  • Refer to the ICO’s guidance

Make it easily accessible

To optimise the positive customer experience, the privacy notice should be easy to find at all times.

It should also be referenced at all touchpoints where you ask for personal information.

Think about the user experience when publishing it, both on paper and online.

You should encourage users to read it by making it easily navigable: using an accordion function online helps people navigate content easily online.

An index and page-referenced approach will help people if your policy is in print. Your customers will thank you for helping them find information more easily.

  • Make the privacy notice prominent
  • Optimise display across devices
  • Hyperlink at data capture points if online

Read more from our Data Best Practice series:

Keeping Your Data Clean

Acquiring New Data

The Power of the Privacy Notice - Case Study

Maintaining Good Data Hygiene

Acquiring New Data Under GDPR - Case Study


For more information, please see the Best Data Practice Guide.

For more from the DMA’s Customer Data Council, head here.

For more from the DMA’s Responsible Marketing campaign, head here.

Hear more from the DMA

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