News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Charities & 2019 Data Privacy Day

Jan 30, 2019

This past Monday, January 28th, was Data Privacy Day which has been observed in the U.S. and Canada since 2008. The National Cyber Security Alliance, an organization that addresses cybersecurity and privacy education, leads this annual promotion. The objective, in part, is to help alert both the public and the business community to the importance of protecting personal information and to avoid online data breaches. The Council of Better Business Bureaus and BBBs also provide a page that addresses issues related to Data Privacy Day in 2019: https://bbbprograms.org/insights

Data privacy, however, is not just an issue for businesses, but is a vitally important matter for charitable organizations as well. Donors and others communicate online with charities via their websites, emails and other online means and need to be informed about what policies are in place to address privacy. For over 15 years, the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability (see Standard 18b) have called for charities to have clear, prominent and accessible privacy policies on their websites that cover, at a minimum, the following elements:

Notice: What information is being collected by the charity and how will it be used?

Access: How do you contact the charity to review your personal information and, if needed, ask for corrections?

Choice: How do you inform the charity if you do not wish your personal information to be shared outside the organization?

Security: What security measures does the charity have to protect personal information that is received by them?

While data privacy issues have become more complex in recent years, the above four fundamental principles still provide a helpful start for both donors and charities to consider. Of course, charities in North America need to also become familiar with applicable government regulations addressing online privacy as well as applicable European Union regulations, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect last year.

The bottom line for charities is that a privacy violation or a data breach can seriously impact not only the individuals included but also can significantly impact future trust and confidence in the organization. No one wants these violations to happen but without adequate preventative measures, the risks can be great.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Paul Miles, President & CEO, We Raise Foundation (a BBB Accredited Charity) which provides grants in the Lutheran community that support the initial development of sustainable health and human care ministries. The organization reports having a special interest in nurturing new health and human care ministries developed by local congregations and new faith-based organizations.


Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to www.give.org/charity-inquiry if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance