What is data privacy and why is it important?

As a business, it is perhaps even more important to ensure that you implement data privacy protection procedures.


In an increasingly digital world, data privacy is becoming increasingly important for both businesses and individuals. As a business entity, you want to ensure that you comply with all relevant data privacy laws. As an individual, you want all of your personal information to be stored as securely as possible. So what is data privacy and why is it so important?

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy is essentially how information should be handled. For example, you might be okay with sharing your name with a brand you’re buying from, but you wouldn’t want to share your social security number as well. If you opened a bank account, on the other hand, you wouldn’t mind filling out a form asking for the same information.

As we spend more time online and websites, social media platforms and apps collect an increasing amount of our personal information, how it is collected, used, stored and processed is of vital importance. . For example, you may be aware of Facebook’s data privacy lawsuit or other major data security breaches. When companies don’t tell you what they know about you and how they use that information, your privacy and potentially your finances are at risk.

Why is data privacy important?

Privacy is considered a basic human right in many countries, so online data privacy has become a hot issue. Many laws are in place to protect it.

Here’s why it should interest you:

  • Criminals can use your personal data for all kinds of nefarious purposes: theft, fraud, identity theft, harassment, blackmail, cybercrime.
  • If your personal data is sold to a third party without your competitor, you may become the target of unsolicited advertisements.
  • Your right to express yourself freely may be restricted when your personal data is at risk.
  • Companies can be hit with hefty fines when they fail to protect their users’ privacy.
  • As a result, they can lose a lot of business, as they are deemed untrustworthy by customers.

Important Data Privacy Regulations

Governments around the world have put in place laws and regulations governing data privacy. The most notable include:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): defines how the personal data of EU citizens may be collected, stored and used.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): Requires individuals to know what data is collected from them and gives them the right to control how that data is used.
  • National data protection laws have been instituted by Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore and many other countries that target specific regions. They are mostly similar to GDPR.

Ways to protect your data as an individual

Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

There are several things you can do as an individual to protect your data. Remember that although there are laws in place to protect you, not everyone obeys them and it is your responsibility to be diligent.

  • Prevent mail theft with a sturdy mailbox.
  • Shred all documents containing your personal data.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Secure your home Wi-Fi and other networks.
  • Don’t automatically provide all the information a website asks for.

Ways to protect data as a business

As a business, it is perhaps even more important to ensure that you implement data privacy protection procedures. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of all local and international laws and regulations that apply to your business.
  • Consult a data privacy legal expert to advise on the quality of your house rules.
  • Make sure your hardware and software are protected and your servers aren’t tamper-proof.
  • Regularly update all software and mobile applications.
  • Write a clear data protection policy with tools like TermsFeed.
  • Limit file sharing outside of secure office computers.
  • Explain to your staff why data privacy is important and what they need to do to protect it.

Wrap

Given the overwhelming amount of data stored digitally, it becomes paramount to continue to refine data privacy laws and regulations. However, it is not only up to the governing bodies to ensure the security of our data and the data of our customers and customers. We need to do our part and be careful how we use and collect it. Likewise, we must be strict about who we provide access to any sensitive information that may be used for fraudulent, criminal or other unauthorized purposes.

About the author