Privacy and affiliates – what you need to know

privacy

Privacy laws are some of the most important that we as affiliate marketers need to deal with. From the gathering of data to how we use it in our campaigns, we need to make sure that all our work here always meets the latest of compliance laws.

With many data protection acts currently changing, and the shift of cookie usage affecting many online businesses, including affiliates, all affiliate marketing managers need to make sure that they fully understand the incoming changes.

What is data privacy?

It can be easy to equate data privacy with data protection. While they are both important in keeping personal and financial data safe online, there are some key distinctions between them.

Data protection is the act of keeping data safe from unauthorised access. Affiliates need to ensure that they are doing this for their customers as standard practice; there is no excuse for non-compliance in this area.

Data privacy, on the other hand, puts the power into the hands of the internet users themselves. This allows them to decide who has access to their data, who can process it, and what it is used for.

Leaving Google

The handling of data in this way has caused many to think about the sites and services that they interact with online. For example, a recent update to Google Chrome has meant that many have considered using other browsers instead.

Compared to other browsers, Chrome harvests a lot of data that they do not necessarily need to. Many users are now even considering switching to browsers such as DuckDuckGo as they care a lot more for protecting the user’s privacy online without harvesting the large amount of data that Google does.

This is not just an issue for browsers, it also extends to linking usage data across devices and individuals. Chrome is the only browser to currently do this to this extent. With third-party cookies on their slow way out, it might mean that we see new forms of data collection arise to help affiliate marketers and other online users tailor their campaigns more successfully.

Data and affiliates – what you need to do

Whether you are managing your own program or an affiliate following one, you need to make sure that you are on top of data protection and privacy.

The first step in this will always be to have a concrete privacy agreement in place that fully outlines how you intend to use the data of your customers. Be aware that the changes coming to online data usage – especially when gathered by cookies – might mean that you will need to rework and update your privacy policy in a short while.

Make sure that your privacy policy is fully available on your site for browsers. Transparency is key here, and you need to be prepared to do what it takes to remain as compliant as possible. Privacy and data protection are two key parts of an affiliate program that can never be neglected – and it is your responsibility to ensure that you are handling this data correctly.