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As we outlined in a just-published whitepaper on building user trust in the age of privacy, a clear, accessible, and transparent privacy policy is a good step in establishing confidence that your company has good intentions when it comes to responsible data usage. And there’s another, subsequent step that proactive companies are starting to adopt to complement their privacy policy: consent management tools.

Essentially, consent management tools (examples of vendors include OneTrust, Tealium and Segment) use automation to ensure a smooth data management process, which means that the users who take you up on the opt-out option actually will be opted out. These take human error out of the trust-building picture, and with good reason; users who choose to opt out and receive erroneous communications from you and your partners will have a credible reason to actively distrust your company. They’re also all but necessitated by the environment created by major data-privacy regulations including GDPR and the CCPA. Check out the steadily growing interest for OneTrust over the last 12 months:

Consent management isn’t a requirement, but the tea leaves are indicating that early adoption is both a good marketing play and a proactive move to comply with possible future regulation. Many huge companies, including Microsoft, are choosing to honor the CCPA beyond California, and consent management tools are a hugely valuable tool in ensuring compliance. Whether or not your company is headed in a similar direction, we recommend getting familiar with useful solutions to ensure data privacy sooner rather than later and letting your users know when you’ve taken extra steps to ensure their data will be in good hands.