Why is privacy so important?
Privacy has been one of the biggest topics online in the past decade for a good reason. All online activity leaves a trail of data about who has been where and what they have been doing. As more of our lives migrate online, these large data sets are gathered on almost everyone going about their daily life. Often this data is collected, shared, and sold by data brokers around the world.
Privacy Protects Your Users
Marketing tools often collect data just because they can, but in reality, you do not need to know everything about a user to understand how they found your website. You also do not necessarily need to know who has seen something to understand which content is popular in your site. If you do not need to collect personal data, it makes sense to collect as little as possible to protect your user’s digital privacy.
Digital privacy can help protect individuals against many potential threats. For example, more powerful entities, such as oppressive governments, can use data for population control. Corporations can use health data against people – disadvantaging them through discrimination, or even by increasing insurance premiums. User location data can be exploited by thieves targeting properties when its residents are known to be elsewhere.
As personal privacy allows people the freedom to seek and explore new ideas without judgement and protects people from the abuses described above, protecting it positively impacts society as a whole.
Privacy Protects Your Organisation
As an organisation, collecting as little data as required minimises potential reputational and financial damage from data breaches. In many countries, fines are issued to companies that leak personal data, on a per-user basis!
Additionally, your analytics data can reveal a lot about your organisation and its users. You shouldn’t have to share your analytics data with third parties, trusted or otherwise. If you use Matomo On-Premise or Matomo for WordPress on your own server, you can be assured that nobody else has access to your data. Protecting this data from potential competitors can help you maintain an advantage within a market.
Strong Privacy Protections Enable Compliance with International Data Protection Regulations
In the past few years, regulators around the world have been releasing new and updated data protection laws built for the digital era. These often impact, not only local businesses but also, those from overseas that target users within their jurisdiction.
There are several new and updated international privacy regulations which directly address the collection and usage of analytics data. Some of the most wide-spread and impactful privacy regulations are listed below:
- BDSG (German Bundesdatenschutzgesetz)
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
- CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)
- PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation)
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
Note: You can learn more about Matomo’s compliance with various privacy focused laws here.