The Privacy Shield Frameworks are a mechanism for legally transferring personal data from the European Union (EU) and Switzerland to the United States. They are based on agreements first entered into between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission in 2016, replacing the earlier Safe Harbor program. The Privacy Shield promotes greater transparency…

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Read about the BBB’s standards for honest and fair business ads These basic advertising standards are issued for the guidance of advertisers, advertising agencies and advertising media. It is impossible to cover fully the wide variety of advertising practices by specific standards in a code such as this, which is designed to apply to the…

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Many businesses have no formal ethics or compliance program. These organizations may see such a program as unnecessary or high-cost. But ethics and compliance yields many benefits to businesses. They improve company reputations. Studies show that organizations with programs are more successful. And an effective program attracts the kind of employees you want — and…

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The Federal Sentencing Commission sets standards for sentencing for federal crimes. Because companies can also break the law, the Commission also developed guidelines for how to sentence organizations: the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO). Companies can face penalties from fines to operational requirements. But the most talked-about portion of the FSGO is what it…

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How one company’s fall from grace prompted new standards Much has been written (and filmed) about the Enron scandal. Enron’s collapse resulted in prison sentences for several executives, and more importantly, the loss of thousands of people’s retirement savings. Large scandals often prompt congressional action. Following Enron, Congress passed the Public Company Accounting Reform and…

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What happens when a business breaks the law? In many cases, a regulatory violation results in a fine or some additional penalties, such as increased oversight. But some cases are large enough that the company involved is brought before a federal judge and sentenced. Obviously, a business can’t go to jail. But sometimes, individual executives…

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Q: Are compliance and ethics really that different? A: I would argue that compliance and ethics are unique disciplines; however, because both are designed to manage human behavior, it is easy to see why the two are so often conjoined. First, many organizations “house” their ethics departments under the larger compliance umbrella. Companies do this for…

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