Google’s Tracking Services Can Get You in Legal Hot Water

How to Avoid Privacy Law Problems that Could Derail Your Business

A fascinating insight into why states are creating privacy laws and how to run a successful business while staying in step with current and upcoming legislation.  

A man who regularly rides his bike around the local neighborhood recently discovered he was considered a potential burglar by his local police department. The reason? He had Google location history enabled on his phone and the data showed that he was in the vicinity of a home as it was being burglarized. Sadly, Mr. McCoy isn’t the only person to have been faced with this horrific experience. Google recently handed law enforcement officials records of nearly 1,500 people in response to a geofence warrant, a move that officials say is necessary to determine the identities of people who were in the vicinity of properties destroyed by arson. Needless to say, the privacy implications are horrendous as law enforcement officials are given treasure troves of personal data without being able to prove that the people they are gathering data on are indeed criminal suspects.

While Google’s location history data collection services have generated a fair bit of controversy recently, Google is hardly the only tech company to gather and use large swaths of personal data with little or no input from those that use their services. While tech companies always have privacy policies that enable users to opt-out of certain services, the tech jargon used in these policies often puts people off as they can’t understand what to do in order to protect their personal information. Others are simply unaware of how much personal data tech giants gather from users and don’t bother limiting access to their data until problems arise. However, many local and state officials are starting to realize that tech companies need limits so they can’t simply collect data uninhibited and then reuse that data however they see fit. To this end, many state legislators are creating state laws that clearly stipulate what tech companies can and can’t do with personal information. California’s Consumer Privacy Act is one of the most recent and comprehensive additions to these laws; however, the Golden State isn’t the only one to realize the need to keep tech companies in line. Maine, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and other states all have laws on the books that stipulate what tech companies can and can’t do with your personal information.

Privacy Law Challenges for Businesses

Privacy laws sound like good news, and they are. However, they do create problems for busy business owners, especially those who work with clients in more than one state. Privacy laws don’t just impact tech companies, they also set down rules that affect companies in every single industry. Remaining compliant with local and state regulations regarding the use and storage of clients’ personal data can be a huge challenge, especially if your business doesn’t have the financial resources needed to hire an in-house IT expert who is familiar both with IT technology and industry-specific privacy laws in your state. What’s more, state laws may change over the years and your IT expert will need to stay abreast of current developments to ensure your business doesn’t have to deal with the legal consequences of inadvertently breaking privacy laws in your state.

The good news is, you don’t have to figure out how to remain industry-compliant without professional help. Where to Start Technology Solutions has been in operation for nearly thirty years, and we have the tools and expertise you need to stay in step with current and future privacy laws. What’s more, we also offer a plethora of important IT services to keep your systems running at optimal speed and performance at all times. Get in touch with us for a free consultation at your convenience and discover how we can make it easy for you to remain compliant with any privacy laws that affect your business.

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