The Benefits of Voluntary Compliance
We are starting to see a trend of companies that are willing to comply with consumer protection regulations voluntarily. Let's dive more into what voluntary compliance is, why organizations are choosing it and what the benefits of it are.
Companies today are expected to comply with some form of data privacy law in one way or another. However, in some situations, companies choose to voluntarily comply in some cases without being required to do so by the authorities. But why would a company voluntarily comply with regulations that don't apply to them or are not being enforced?
In this article, we will look at the benefits of voluntary compliance and the reasons you should embrace it.
What is Voluntary Compliance?
Voluntary compliance is the act of adhering to specific regulations without being forced to. Companies choose to voluntarily act according to the law and data privacy policies to reduce their exposure or risk from non-compliance. This helps protect the consumers and reduces the need for strict overwatch by the authorities.
Voluntary compliance is part of the risk management system. Instead of complying with rules that only apply legally, companies try to get ahead of the curve by identifying potential issues or regulations in the future. Once identified, they align their operations to be on the right side of the law if said laws do come into effect for them.
According to research, about 70% of Americans say that their online data is less safe now than it was five years back. Consumers are growing warier every day about big business and how companies use their data. Therefore, companies adopting policies that protect the consumers are becoming more and more critical.
Self-regulation through voluntary compliance is quickly becoming one of the best ways to build trust with consumers. 92% of consumers say companies must be proactive about data protection. And it's not enough to wait until authorities back them into mandatory compliance.
Benefits of Voluntary Compliance
Companies usually have to scramble to align with the rules when new laws take effect. They divert business resources from other operations to get their compliance needs in order. Leaving the competition who have already complied to rule the market for that duration.
Using voluntary compliance as part of your company’s risk management strategy can help you avoid last-minute scrambles. If you forecast upcoming changes in regulations and apply them to the running of your business before they take effect, it will help you stay ahead of the competition. It will also give you enough time to implement the needed changes without affecting operations.
Consumers trust businesses more who voluntarily comply with regulations such as the CCPA. Giving such companies a competitive advantage in the market because consumers also support businesses they trust.
Focus on Growth
Any time resources are diverted from the main objectives of the business, time is taken away from growing the business. Waiting until the last minute to react to new changes will destabilize the operation and act as a distraction.
This situation can be avoided by voluntarily complying with expected changes ahead of time in a strategic way that does not distract from the main business objectives. It will also allow growth and advancement without any risk of non-compliance hanging over your shoulders.
Ease of Transition
Suppose you have already achieved compliance in one or another aspect. It means you can start working on complying with another element you expect a new or existing regulation to change or introduce. Once such rules take effect, they will not affect your operations, and you will have transitioned to the next huddle.
Voluntary compliance will help you avoid playing catch up with regulations and instead, anticipate changes and get ready ahead of time. Ensuring your organization is always ahead of the curve makes transitions easy and smooth.
Assists in Getting into New Markets
If you plan on getting your business into the EU market, you may choose to be GDPR compliant before getting to the market. This will help you to hit the ground running and make it easy for your organization to take hold in the new market.
Adapting regulations before entering a new market will help make your market penetration easier. You will not have to figure out how local laws and data privacy policies work in the new region or spend time dealing with authorities. It will allow you to concentrate on your marketing and grow your business in the new market.
Increased Consumer Trust
Consumers are more awake to the fact that businesses gather data on them all the time. And they are wary about how companies use this data. By adopting regulations such as the CCPA, GDPR or HIPAA, companies can put their data policies out in the open where consumers can also look at them.
This would allow consumers to make privacy requests that they feel should be part of the policies. Further enhancing the trust relationship between consumers and the companies they rely on.
Voluntarily complying with regulations also shows that businesses take consumer privacy to heart. A good show of faith and a step in the right direction in consumer protection.
Legitimizing a Brand
When the CCPA first went into effect, only the large organizations with adequate resources complied. This was partly because they were going to be under more scrutiny, but it also has to do with the resources.
And medium-sized companies knew this. But when it quickly became clear that compliance was not optional, everyone started following suit. This is true with other regulations as well. The sooner you could comply, the more legitimate your brand looked, and that pattern has stuck.
Data privacy is an issue that has plagued many industries for a long time. Consumers are asking for more privacy and transparency from companies collecting data from them. Regulators are trying to protect consumers by introducing new guidelines such as the CCPA and the GDRP, but the final buck stops with the organizations.
Companies must be willing to air out what data they're collecting and what they're using it for to earn consumers' trust. They must also be willing to voluntarily comply with regulations that protect the consumers.