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Companies that collect your data must treat it with care and respect. Still, it is difficult to translate this concept into laws that we know will impact millions of small business owners that rely on data to market and manage their companies. Policymakers considering proposals to restrict data collection must appreciate that anonymous data and large data sets are essential inputs for digital tools that power small businesses and must include small business input during the legislative process. 

There has been considerable political debate and media coverage about cybersecurity, but very little specific to small businesses. 

A single security breach is likely to shut the doors of a small business forever. Policymakers must help small businesses stay safe online by allocating resources for educating small businesses and investigating and prosecuting breaches. Without direct attention paid to the cybersecurity issues affecting small businesses, it will be nearly impossible for these companies to survive in this new world of hacking, phishing, and breaches. 

Policymakers should work to encourage small business owners to bring breaches forward to investigators and have best practices and a safe harbor in place, so they are not punished for doing the right thing.

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