As the digital world continues to become more intertwined with our everyday lives, data privacy and consumer protection are rightfully top concerns for individuals and businesses alike. Along with these concerns come a slew of laws and regulations – like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – that dictate how companies must collect, use, and protect the personal data of their customers and employees.
Compliance with these laws is essential to keeping your business up and running, but it can also be a challenge. From ensuring that all data is collected and used correctly to managing consumer opt-ins and tracking consent across multiple channels, there’s a lot to keep track of. This is where a consent management platform comes to the rescue.
In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of consent management platforms by answering the following questions:
- What is a consent management platform?
- What can a consent management platform do?
- What are the benefits of using a consent management platform?
What is a Consent Management Platform?
First thing’s first: what are we talking about?
Consent management platforms are type of software designed for the purpose of organizing and simplifying the process of obtaining, documenting, and managing user consent.
They provide businesses with a centralized platform where they can track all consents in one place, as well as manage and update consents as needed. This not only makes it easy to ensure compliance with data privacy laws, but also makes it simpler and faster to make changes to your consent processes as needed.
Practically any business with a presence online – from small businesses to enterprise companies – can benefit from using a consent management platform. Qualification criteria for different regulatory laws differ, and by having a comprehensive solution managing everything for them, organizations can extinguish their risk of breaking the law and incurring costly penalties.
What Can a Consent Management Platform Do?
As we touched on before, a consent management platform’s main purpose is to help businesses document, manage, and update consumer consents. But that’s not all it can do. The following are just some of the helpful features and functions to take advantage of when using this software.
Laws, regulations and legal texts can be confusing. A good consent management platform will have the ability to interpret and translate these documents into easily understandable terms, so you can make sure your business is always up-to-date on the latest changes.
Another huge benefit of using a consent management platform is that it can automate a lot of the tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with managing consents.
From sending out reminders to customers that their consent is about to expire to automatically updating consents when there are changes to the law, a consent management platform can take care of it all – freeing up your team to focus on other tasks.
Disabling Unauthorized Cookies and third-party scripts
As part of the GDPR, businesses are required to get consent from consumers before storing or accessing any information on their devices – including cookies. A consent management platform can help you do this by automatically disabling third-party scripts (and the third-party tracking cookies they use) that have not been authorized by the consumer. This ensures that you are only collecting and using the data that you have been given permission to, and helps protect your business from any potential fines.
Archiving Consent Records
Another key function of a consent management platform is the ability to archive and store consent records. (ability to provide proof of consent through an audit trail) This is important not only for compliance purposes, but also for your own reference in case there are any questions or disputes down the road.
Reporting and Analytics
Most consent management platforms also come with reporting and analytics tools that give you valuable insights into your consent processes.
For example, you might be able to see how many people have given their consent, what types of consent they’ve given, and how users are interacting with the banner itself. This information can be extremely helpful in identifying areas where your process could be improved.
Inventory and Categorization of Web Tags
Some platforms also offer an inventory and categorization of web tags – which can be helpful in understanding what types of data are being collected on your website, and for what purpose.
This information can be used to make sure that all data collection is being done in a way that is compliant with data privacy laws.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Consent Management Platform?
There are many benefits to using a consent management platform, but the following are some of the most important ones to consider.
As we mentioned before, one of the main benefits of using a consent management platform is that it can help improve your compliance with data privacy laws.
By automating and simplifying the process of managing consents, you can be sure that your business is always up-to-date with the latest changes – and that you’re not accidentally breaking any laws.
Associating a User’s Identity With Their Consent
Another important benefit of using a consent management platform is that it can help you associate a user’s identity with their consent.
This means that you can be sure that the person who gave their consent is actually the same person who is using your website or product.
This is important for ensuring that your business is only collecting and using the data of people who have actually given their permission for you to do so.
Improved User Experience
Using a consent management platform can also lead to an improved user experience. By simplifying the process of managing consents, you can make it easier for users to understand what they’re consenting to – and make it more likely that they’ll actually give their permission. That’s a major win-win for both your business and your users.
Greater Control Over Your Data
Another benefit of using a consent management platform is that it gives you greater control over your data. With a platform in place, you can be sure that you’re only collecting and using the data that you actually need – and that you have the ability to delete it if a user withdraws their consent. This can help you avoid any potential privacy breaches, and give you peace of mind knowing that your data is always under your control.
Another big benefit of using a consent management platform is that it can help increase the efficiency of your processes. Through automation and the centralization of information, you can free up your team’s time to focus on other tasks – and make it easier for everyone to find the information they need.
Better Customer Relationships
A consent management platform is that it can help you build rapport with your customers by ensuring that you’re always handling their data in a way that is compliant with their wishes. It can send a message of accountability and responsibility – two things that are becoming increasingly important to consumers.
Although its concept is not new, consent management has seen a meteoric rise in relevance over the past years. And as technology continues to become more and more of a staple to our everyday lives, its relevance is only going to continue to grow. By educating themselves on consent management platforms and their benefits, businesses can put themselves in a position to adapt to this ever-changing landscape – and keep their customers happy in the process.