If you are handling PII (Personally Identifiable Information) for your clients or anyone else you should read this article. It is delivered in the context of a sweepstakes type of program, but it is applicable to anyone handling PII. The article is care of The Morningstar Law Group.

Promotions and Data Privacy: What are the Risks?

…Have A Privacy Policy In Place

Hopefully, your business already has a privacy policy in place. If you collect information from consumers or have any type of web presence, you should have a privacy policy on your website. Ideally, the consumer information that is collected as part of your promotion should be afforded the same protection as any other consumer information that you collect (aside from financial information and personally identifiable information, which is afforded a higher level of protection).

Be Up-Front With Consumers

Additionally, if you plan to maintain information that you collect from consumers as part of your promotion, you need to make sure that you notify consumers that you are keeping their information for use beyond possible notification of whether they won the sweepstakes.

Say What You Are Going To Do, And Do What You Say

A good rule of thumb when handling consumer information – say what you are going to do and do what you say you will do. DO NOT use consumer information beyond the bounds of what you have received permission from the consumer to do. Please note that even if you put the consumer on notice that you plan to keep the information shared to provide additional information or sales opportunities, and the consumer consents to such use (the method of consent varies depending on how you collect entries), you must still consider issues that are raised by the CAN SPAM Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and various other federal and state law concerns, which may restrict such uses….

To read the whole column click here for Promotions and Data Privacy: What are the Risks? by Catherine Otto.