The ACLU of California has published the Third Edition of Privacy & Free Speech: It’s Good for Business a 42 page “roadmap” of how businesses can promote privacy and free speech and be a leader in respecting individuals’ privacy and the right to free speech. The gist is that being a leader in protecting individuals’ privacy rights will lead to customer satisfaction and revenue, while avoiding regulatory enforcement and litigation. Take a look at page 2 which outlines all of the “hot water” companies get into when not protecting the privacy of consumers, while others are praised for valiant efforts to respect the privacy of its customers.

It is only 42 pages, and is a quick, but impactful read.

The guidance urges companies to “make your privacy practices stand out” and “give your users a platform to speak freely” and gives practical suggestions of how to make that happen. The examples of when companies made the right and wrong decisions of how to use consumers’ data and the results are easy to understand and in stark contrast to each other.

As a consumer, take a look at the guidance and keep these principles in mind when doing business with companies and it may impact your decision on which company to give your business to.

As a company, take a look at the guidance and evaluate whether the guidance makes sense, and may have an impact on your bottom line.