If your business is international, it adds another privacy concern into the mix. Every country handles privacy differently. Since most people are used to how their government handles online privacy, your company won’t get a lot of complaints if you handle matters the same way. But it involves trust that information for each nation will be kept on local servers. When data gets sent around the globe, concerns arise over how another government will handle the privacy of those who are not a citizen of their nation. It can be a particular concern for those who are used to being well protected.

Research shows that even though people regularly make online purchases, they are still wary about privacy and view online purchases as less secure than ones they make in person. Few will be able to give you a straight answer over what those concerns are. It’s just a sense of dread that exists in the back of the mind when it comes to privacy and the Internet.

How can you convince consumers to trust your site in particular? After all, if that is a major concern of online consumers, it will play a big role in whether they use your website or decide to go somewhere else. Step one is to be transparent. If they trust that your privacy policies are legitimate and not just a bunch of legal double talk, you’ll have a better shot at convincing them to trust you. They also are concerned that what you do with the data you collect will not endanger them in any way. It may not be a fear of something specific happening, just a general dread that your company mishandling their data will result in loss for them. Finally, they need to believe that you have the ability to back up what you say you will do.

This is the emotional side of privacy. It’s not enough to understand. You have to build consumer trust in your brand. The more open you are, the more consumers will trust you, so rather than hiding a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo behind a tiny link at the bottom of the page, it’s time to start reassuring people.