Personal Data Retention and Privacy Policies
Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in concerns over personal privacy and user data retention.
We have seen news stories time and time again about data breaches. Legislation like GDPR and CCPA has made data protection a liability for websites. The arrival of the new year is the perfect time to review your personal data retention and privacy policies.
Review User Data and Accounts
Depending on the purpose and service your website provides its users, it is important to review the user data and accounts it holds. This information is usually the most important and valuable to your website and business and should be periodically reviewed and audited.
Remove Irrelevant Data
This can usually be found in the form of testing or spam user accounts or form submissions. Clearing out this unproductive data can help you gain a better understanding of your actual users and target audience. In addition to clearing this out, putting tools and procedures in place to remove irrelevant data in a more timely manner may benefit your site greatly. Making sure as part of a testing process the data is removed, and employing additional spam filters and services can help keep your data relevant.
Clear Out and Archive Old Data
Reviewing old form submissions, user accounts, and order data then exporting and archiving it offline can help protect your website. This can help improve performance, reduce liability, and improve security. Again, your website data is valuable and should always be kept safe, but as it gets older it may become less relevant. You should look at what a reasonable timeframe for keeping data is for your website and the service it provides. Removing and archiving any information older than that timeframe into a long-term storage solution can help keep it safe and out of the way, but still there when you need it.
Revisit Data Request and Deletion Processes
Users are becoming more aware of their personal data collection and taking ownership of it. As part of GDPR compliance and a general good practice, users should be allowed to request a copy of their data or request to have it deleted. Having a process in place to accommodate this can help build user confidence in your organization as well as be a good tool for retrieving and managing data. As more legislation has been introduced on data protection, a lot of web providers have been including this as a feature in their services. WordPress 4.9.6 introduced personal data exporter and removal tools to export/remove user accounts and personal data associated. Having a plan in place for dealing with these requests will help prevent future data issues.
Hopefully, this information will help get you thinking about managing your website data—not just for now, but how you will be able to make improvements going forward. Use these steps to protect your site’s data and future. If you’re in need of website maintenance and development assistance, contact the experts at Hall.