15 Dec 2016

If you’ve recently established a start-up or are thinking about creating one, it’s important that you understand why good privacy practice is essential for the success of your business.

Privacy is not about secrecy, it’s about transparency. It’s about letting your customers know exactly what personal information you’re collecting about them, how you’ll use it, and how you’ll keep it secure.

Building privacy into your products and services brings significant commercial and reputational benefits. An important one is customer trust. When people have confidence that you will respect and protect their personal information, they will use and trust your product or service. Privacy will distinguish you from competitors.

On the other hand, poor privacy practices can lead to serious loss of reputation and this can:

  • damage your customer relationships
  • jeopardise opportunities for funding
  • risk regulatory scrutiny and public sanctions for breaching Australia’s Privacy Act.

So if you want to be successful and grow or sell your business, you need to design your products or services with privacy in mind right from the beginning. Trying to bolt it in on later will be costly, and cause delays.

Australia’s privacy laws are flexible. So good privacy practices and successful innovation directly support each other. For tips on good privacy practices, watch 10 top tips for good privacy practice for start-up businesses.

For more information about how privacy applies to your start-up, visit oaic.gov.au/startups.