Data Privacy: How to Balance Organization and Individual Needs

HR departments are collecting a tremendous amount of personal information about employees that work for their organization. This information is protected by several laws and regulations, including what data can be collected, how it is used, and the circumstances where it can be transferred. Although personal identity information is widely known as being protected, are you also protecting this employee data?

  • Health related information: US law requires employers to protect certain information relating to an employee’s health through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]
  • Genetic information: If your business happens to collect genetic data on employees, this data is protected under the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act [GINA]
  • Credit information: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act [FACTA] protects consumer credit information, including credit checks your HR department may conduct as part of the new hire screening process


Because of these data requirements, it is important to have centralized HR systems for small business in place that bring all of this data under one roof. Many businesses have it scattered throughout the organization and this makes it difficult to manage data privacy.

Full Disclosure Is the Key to Your Success

If you are collecting personal data for any reason, then be transparent about this fact. Notify employees about what data is being collected and for what reason. Take the extra step to have your employees sign off on your data privacy policies and procedures so that you have proof the information was understood.

Have you centralized the data you are collecting? Do you need to find a better way to control access to the data that is collected? Then contact HR Business Partners, a Minneapolis based HR consulting firm with knowledge and experience in the field of small business HR, and human resources outsourcing.