Data Privacy: The Ultimate Guide


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You’ve probably heard the term data privacy tossed around, but do you know what it means? The privacy of data has become crucial in today’s world, as we are increasingly surrounded by devices that capture our data. Whether it’s our smartphones or our internet-connected devices, there are plenty of opportunities to be spied on by businesses or government agencies. 

As data privacy continues to grow in importance to consumers, according to the Cisco 2019 Consumer Privacy Survey, because of organizations’ data policies or data sharing practices, 48 percent of consumers have already switched companies or providers. Today businesses are becoming more and more concerned with ensuring they’re doing everything they can to protect this precious information. But what exactly does data privacy mean? How can you use it to boost your business’s reputation?

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What is data privacy?

Data privacy refers to the process to ensure that the information provided by consumers is only used for its intended purpose. In layman’s terms, data privacy is how data and information are collected, stored, handled, used, and shared. 

Data privacy is a cornerstone of data governance policy. Organizations must understand what data they have, where it is stored, how it flows through their IT systems, and how it is used. Data governance enables organizations to maintain data integrity.  

Data breaches have become more common over time, especially with today’s prevalence of technology in everyday life. As such, privacy has become a major concern among businesses and individuals alike. Businesses must make data privacy a top priority. Data privacy laws vary from country to country, but they all aim to protect consumer data and prevent it from being misused or stolen. 

Noncompliance with data privacy regulations can result in significant financial penalties. In addition, it’s important to consider that customers may not trust the company if they feel their personal information isn’t secure. Customers who aren’t confident about how their data is being handled are more likely to look for other options.

Why is Data Privacy important?

Data privacy has become an extremely important issue in recent years as individuals have become more aware of how their personal information can be used. A lot of companies use customer data to improve their services or create new ones. However, some companies go too far by collecting more data than necessary or using customer data in ways customers wouldn’t expect. 

High-profile data breaches have raised concerns about how data can be shielded and kept private. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by Experian, 70% of consumers believe that it’s the company’s responsibility to protect their data. If the privacy of data is not maintained, it can cost businesses their reputation, lost customers, money troubles, fines and penalties as well as legal proceedings. As a matter of fact, ensuring data privacy should be a top priority for businesses.

Data privacy vs. data security

Data privacy and data security are terms that are often confused with one another. While they both relate to protecting information, there are some key differences between them. For example, while data can be protected in such a way that it’s not accessible by anyone, that doesn’t mean data is private. In other words, data security refers to the protection of information from unauthorized access or use whereas data privacy is the protection of personally identifiable information (PII) from unauthorized access or use.  


In general, data privacy regulations focus on what happens when information is collected and stored by an organization. This includes how long it can be kept, who has access to it, and how it can be used. The goal of these regulations is to ensure that individuals have control over their information and can decide whether or not it will be shared with others.

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Worldwide data privacy laws and regulations

Every individual in the world has the right to privacy and this includes data privacy too. In fact, the right to privacy was incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. As the privacy of data becomes increasingly important as time goes on, it makes sense that there are a lot of laws and regulations in place for companies to abide by.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018. This regulation replaced Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, protect and empower all EU citizens’ privacy of the data, and reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. 

It also created a single set of rules for access to personal information and strengthened rules on consent requirements. GDPR applies to all organizations, regardless of location, that process and store personal data of people residing in the European Union. Data protection regulations, such as GDPR, require not only the protection of user data but also the sharing of data upon request.

California consumer privacy act (CCPA)

In the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state-level data privacy regulation. It allows consumers to know what information companies collect about them and how they use it and gives them control over their personal data. The CCPA also requires businesses to notify customers of security breaches involving their personal information. Customers on request can delete the data, and learn what information has been handed to third parties.  

Today, 137 countries around the world have now passed data laws and acts. Which regulations the business must follow will entirely depend on where the company operates, what industry it is in.

Data Sovereignty 

Data sovereignty refers to the concept that data is governed by the laws of the country where it is collected. This can be a challenge for organizations, but it is a way to ensure that the customers’ data stays private and secure.

The first step to data privacy is having healthy data. You’re probably out of compliance with data rules if the company’s consumer data is a jumble or if the data is inaccessible throughout the business. Data health should be maintained, and it is doable with a variety of solutions, after all, data privacy is dependent on data health.

In today’s world, there is nothing more precious than your data. A lot of people tend to think that their data is safe with companies but in reality, many companies collect as much data as possible about their users and use it for different purposes. With data privacy laws and regulations, companies have to inform their users about their data collection practices. Data privacy laws and regulations are in place to protect consumer rights and to make sure that companies do not misuse personal information.

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