Data is officially the world’s most valuable resource. It’s more expensive than oil, gold, and diamonds, and is the reason that Google, Facebook, and other tech companies have become some of the richest organisations on the planet. It’s also why data privacy has become so much more important in recent years. Your data is insanely valuable, and businesses must meet the privacy law obligations of their home countries to ensure that they don’t use it in illegal or unethical ways.
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For a little background information, Australia’s privacy legislation was updated in March 2014 to include the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which help to regulate how organisations can collect and use people’s personal information. This change broadened how people can be “reasonably identified” using their information, including “anonymous” data like membership numbers which can be combined with other data to identify someone. That means if you collect any piece of information about a person, and your company falls under the Privacy Act, you must adhere to the rules in the APPs. If you’re not already bored, you can read the APPs in full on this government page.
Web forms are the primary way to collect people’s data, whether on your website or social accounts. So by including this information, you’ll be legally covered.
Use Google Analytics, cookies, or other tracking tools
Tools like Google Analytics can tell you people’s demographics, how they behave, which websites they came from, and more. This makes them invaluable for marketing, but also subject to the Privacy Act.
As a side note, if you’re sending EDMs or engaging in another form of direct marketing, you can only message people if you’ve got their express permission, and you must also include a way for them to opt out.
Use Google Ads or other paid search adverts