Australia is a nation of entrepreneurs, heavily reliant on digital channels.
But are they prepared for privacy risks?

The majority of small businesses are either unaware of tracking, or are aware, but don’t tell their customers

Q:

Do you communicate to your customers about using a 3rd-party code which can track their activity?

35%

If I knew about tracking, I wouldn’t use it in the first place

32.9%

I didn’t know about tracking, but I wouldn’t communicate this to my customers

32.1%

I know tracking happens, but I don’t inform my visitors

Businesses are uncomfortable.

They are more likely to feel uncomfortable, than comfortable, about how their customers’ data is being used by 3rd party vendors. Zoho surveyed more than 900 small business leaders in May 2021 to understand how they feel about data privacy.

Zoho

Less than half, have an adequate approach to data privacy

Data privacy is one of the defining issues for the business community today. Unfortunately, confusion and uncertainty reign supreme amongst Australia’s small businesses, who are unprepared for proposed regulatory changes. It’s still too easy for small businesses to overlook their responsibilities when it comes to data privacy, but the threat and the potential cost is real.

Q:

Which of the following best describes your approach to data privacy?

  • 35.1%
    Well defined, strictly applied
  • 19%
    Well defined, loosely applied
  • 16.3%
    Does not have one
  • 11.6%
    Has one, but hasn’t read it and doesn’t know if it is followed
  • 10.9%
    Doesn’t know if they have one
  • 7.1%
    Has one, but not fully documented or applied
Zoho

Only 1 in 5 small businesses think technology vendors have done a good job explaining how data is used

Small businesses cannot be expected to become privacy and cybersecurity experts, so the technology industry and policymakers must make awareness, education and action amongst these businesses a top priority.

Otherwise, with regulation becoming more stringent, penalties more severe, cyberattacks more prevalent and their impact more damaging, small businesses will be unfairly and disproportionately impacted.

For small businesses, a breach could be catastrophic.

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Social media is the main source of tracking on small business websites

Q:

Do you allow code from 3rd party vendors on your website for any of the following purposes?

Social media

Over half of small business advertising activity is done through Facebook and Google

3.8%Amazon ads
7.3%microsoft ads
9.2%Instagram ads
24.2%No ads
25.4%Facebook ads
30.2%Google ads
Zoho
Q:

Which 3rd party platforms does your organisation use to promote your products and services?

Operating a business - no matter the industry - in a COVID-normal world will be dependent on collecting more data - for health and safety measures and as a competitive advantage - than ever before.

The reforms are designed to protect, but there must be adequate time to, first, educate small businesses about their requirements and then ensure that they’re compliant.

“If they’re given this support and education, they can continue adding their immense social and economic value to cities, towns and communities across Australia.”

- Vijay Sundaram,
Zoho Chief Strategy Officer.

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