The Importance of Safe Harbor Certification

Welcome to the world of international business. If you have just began operating or have been in business for a number of years, then you will probably understand that collecting information about the people who use your products and services is vitally important.
The data passed to your company, from your customers, allows you to get a handle on what they expect from you and your products or services. It also allows you to find the places in the world where your business is most successful.

Another benefit to collecting customer data is that it will help you keep in touch with your consumers. You can continue, with their permission of course, to notify them either by regular mail or email about your newest products, services, discounts and special deals.
The information collected by you from your patrons is, quite literary, a gold mine in its own right. And that is where the problems for your business begins.

It is great having all those benefits mentioned above, but when it comes to handling peoples personal details, you have to go to great lengths to make sure it is well protected from any outside sources who also see the value in it.

Think about it like this: Online marketers have been using email lists for years to fill up peoples email accounts with junk mail. It is a business, which although now illegal in most parts of the world, is worth millions of dollars each year. 

Now imagine you operate a mid-sized company with a collection of ten thousand email addresses, all freely given to you by your customers. And again imagine that very same list falling into the hands of a spammer, who will not hesitate to start sending your customers their own emails.

This would not only make you look incredibly bad as a company but it could also cause a lot of legal problems as well. If you own or operate a U.S company which collects data from various parts of the European Union, then it is important that you become safe harbor certified.
What does being safe harbor certified mean? 

As a company it means you have gone that extra mile to ensure that all personal data collected from European customers, as well as customers based in other parts of the world, will be treated with the utmost security.
When a person gives you their name, address and phone number, they trust you to look after those details, and unless they agree, will not receive any third party communications.  
Being safe harbour certified means that you cannot force an individual to provide you with their details. It has to be their choice, and only their choice to do so.

It may seem strange that you would put these restrictions on yourself, but the whole purpose of safe harbor certification is for you to prove to your existing and new customers that you value their custom and will protect any of the details they chose to give you. 

Ultimately it helps promote customer confidence in both your products and your company.