The Trust Factor
First, why do people shop at or use the services of small businesses? While I cannot speak for everyone, I shop at small businesses because I trust them. A small business is a labor of love and commitment – you know that the small business owner is doing everything that they can to provide good services or products and that the customer always comes first. It is much more likely that Facebook or Amazon will sell your private information than a small business because small business owners usually have a lot more respect for their customers than the giant tech monopolies that have very little or no competition.
The Legal Liability Factor
While Facebook may be able to afford billions in terms of penalties and attorneys’ fees, that type of expenditure is just not feasible for small businesses. Most of the proposed bills also allow consumers and their lawyers to sue businesses directly. While the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney Generals have very limited time and resources, plaintiff’s lawyers have nothing but time when it comes to finding who to sue. These attorneys are not shy about starting dozens of lawsuits at any given time and do not limit their scope to the biggest companies out there. The truth is that protecting yourself costs a lot less and will save you a lot of money and headache in the future.
The Reputation Factor
This is a great time to become a leader in your industry and to distinguish yourself from your competition as a privacy-focused business. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you care about them and their privacy, even if you are a small company. Furthermore, they will appreciate the fact that you are willing to consider their concerns and respond in an appropriate way even if the giants such as Google are not.
Disclaimer: this post should not be taken as legal advice.