By Gilberto Gandra, Board Member
Whether it is a DSH with infrequent BM, or a LOS report biased by a few DOAs, acronyms have ingrained themselves in animal welfare speak. As someone who has only served on the fringes of this field, I quickly had to learn to differentiate the meanings. Leading me to wonder how much animal-focused non-profits are aware of acronyms which have made up a large portion of my last year in the corporate sector: PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), OPPA (Online Privacy Protection Act).
Finally, continual review and staff training are the only way to make sure your organization is practicing what you preach to the public. There are various resources online to guide an organization through the setup of proper data protection practices:
Traditionally not overseeing non-profits, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) oversees the commercial activities of non-profits which could include adoption, pet supplies & other purchases. This link provides a start to finish https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/start-security-guide-business
If a breach does occur and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is leaked, every State has legislation directing the notification of individuals who have been affected. This site has the links to each of those state instructions, check the one that applies to you.
Although specific to GDPR and more broad than US privacy practices, this link walks you through a comprehensive assessment of your current state level of data protection: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/information-security-checklist/
It may not be the most exciting adoption case study or framework for new foster program but data protection is serious business. I believe every animal welfare organization can benefit from understanding these rules and implementing or reviewing their very own privacy statements/practices. There is growing consumer awareness regarding their rights, and it is important to have these rules in place to protect your non-profit and ensure the continuing operation towards achieving your missions.