Direct Mail Marketing

Sending Notices Through Transactional Direct Mail

May 19, 2020
Autor
Inkit Team

Data privacy notice isn’t merely a notification detailing how data subjects’ personal information is processed. It’s a critical element of the business-customer relationships that makes them transparent. Even if consumers won’t scrutinize everything you send them, they should be able to do so.

Besides, data privacy notices are legally required. COPPA, Regulation P, HIPAA, and GDPR are just the main regulations that determine privacy notice requirements and impose a range of obligations on business owners. They touch upon many fields, from marketing services to finances.

But you shouldn’t get stressed about providing data privacy notices. This process can be significantly simplified if you make them a part of your transactional direct mail. To learn how it works and for other useful recommendations, read about:

  • What is a data privacy notice and in what cases you need to provide it?
  • Privacy notice requirements based on the key data privacy regulations
  • Why sending data privacy notices through transactional direct mail is the most effective approach

What Is a Data Privacy Notice and in What Cases You Need to Provide it?

Data privacy notice is a document that specifies how an organization processes personal data of its customers or partners. The concept of ‘processing’ includes all actions performed with the data, such as collection, transformation, analysis, transfer, sharing, or use for any other purpose. Unlike a privacy policy, which is intended for internal use, a privacy notice must be publicly available and/or sent as transactional direct mail.

Basically, all companies that deal with customer data should provide data privacy notices. For example, if you have an online store that requests the full name, payment, and delivery details to place an order, you need to inform customers about data collection. Or when you record user data for website analytics. For loyalty programs, bonus cards, and every other time you handle customer data, you also have to provide a privacy notice.

Privacy Notice Requirements Based on the Key Data Privacy Regulations: Legal Obligations, Recipients, and Timing Requirements

Even though all the regulations center around the idea of personal information security, they have slightly different privacy notice requirements. Find the main regulations you need to consider before launching customer data processing below.

data protection

Privacy notice requirements in Regulation P for financial services

The final rule with the changes to Regulation P became effective on September 17, 2018. This latest version was issued to align Regulation P with the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) and implement uniform privacy notice requirements for financial institutions in the US. According to the latest amendments to Regulation P:

  • Financial organizations must send a data privacy notice to all customers every 12 months unless they qualify for one of these two exceptions:
  • They don’t share nonpublic personal information with non-affiliated third parties;
  • They haven’t changed their approaches or policies related to disclosing nonpublic personal information since the last data privacy notice provided to customers.
  • Financial institutions must always provide initial notices to customers and inform them about any amendments. When an organization changes something in its privacy policies, they must follow strict timing requirements: Send a revised privacy notice before introducing the changes if they require providing such notice or 100 days after implementing the changes if the preliminary revised privacy notice isn’t mandatory. (For more information on Regulation P requirements for financial products or services, visit this page).

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Privacy notice requirements in COPPA related to children’s data processing

COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) passed in 1998 applies only to websites and online services that process personal information of children under 13.  Thus, you need to meet the regulatory requirements of COPPA, if your online services collect information from children or run an ad, plug-in, or other web solution that obtains such information. To achieve COPPA compliance, among other things, you will need to post a data privacy notice on your website or online services. Make sure to specify who collects children’s personal information, what data they collect, and how parents can control this process. You also need to give parents direct data privacy notice and request their permission for data processing (For more information on COPPA privacy notice requirements, visit this page).

Privacy notice requirements in HIPAA for healthcare institutions

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, every entity that discloses protected health information (PHI) must provide a data privacy notice to all data subjects. Such notices should explain how the health plan may process and share the PHI of an individual. They should also specify the rights of the individual and the PHI-related legal duties of the health plan. Healthcare organizations are required to send data privacy notices:

  • At least once per three years
  • To new enrollees when whey join the plan
  • Within 60 days after any significant change in the privacy policy
  • Any time if a health plan participants request a data privacy notice

Also note that the HIPAA privacy notice requirements slightly vary, depending on the type of health plan. To get more details on HIPAA privacy notice requirements, visit this page.

Privacy notice requirements in GDPR for EU citizens’ data processors

GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) regulates any organization that processes data of the EU or EEA citizens. The location, type of services, and processing purpose don’t matter as long as data subjects come from the European area. Thus, you need to be GDPR compliant both when you send marketing messages and collect payment details.

GDPR

Unlike many other regulations, GDPR details how to create a data privacy notice, choose the right wording and style. The 12, 13, and 14 articles stress that data privacy notices must be written in clear and plain language and include information about data processing practices, data protection officers, recipients of personal data, data subjects’ rights, etc. Most importantly, data privacy notices should be provided to all individuals whose data is handled before the processing starts.

Why Sending Data Privacy Notices Through Transactional Direct Mail Is the Most Effective Approach

There are no universal privacy notice requirements that specify how to inform customers about the personal data processed. In some cases, a letter sent to an email address may be sufficient, in other – transactional direct mail is a must. You can even combine several alternative delivery methods. The main task is to make sure customers read your privacy notice and be able to prove this in case of a dispute.

Transactional direct mail is the easiest way to keep track of privacy notice delivery and achieve regulatory compliance. Every mail piece you send is recorded in the system of the USPS and can be monitored. Besides, since direct mail has high response rates and holds readers’ attention much better than digital communications, recipients are more likely to read important privacy terms or changes. This makes your customer relationships more transparent and helps you avoid any misunderstandings.

Tranactions direct mail

Moreover, with mail automation tools like Inkit, you can fully automate transactional direct mail production and delivery. Integrated with your CRM or database, Inkit will automatically print a data privacy notice and send it to a particular customer when needed — even if you are working remotely outside of your office. For example, if you set up triggered print & mail, all customers will automatically receive a notice whenever the privacy policy is updated. Or — the system will mail notices to every new enrollee. It’s not only very convenient but also helps to save money on transactional direct mail printing and shipment.

Contact our sales team now, to learn how Inkit can benefit your privacy notifications and regulatory compliance.

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