What Is Data Privacy? | Prevent Unauthorized Access to Private Information!

Data privacy is an integral part of everyone's life and has been in existence for a long time. It is why we have safes in our houses or use locks on filing cabinets. Data privacy has existed for a long but has evolved.

As business continues to thrive online, malicious attacks on data have increased. As a result, data must be kept private from unauthorized access failure, and the implications are numerous.

Each person has a role to play in ensuring data privacy since it is not just a business affair but also an individual's business. Getting an understanding of data privacy is the first step to protecting yourself from the risks of data breaches. This article will look at:

  • What is data privacy?

  • The importance of data privacy.

  • Data privacy laws

  • The difference between data privacy and data security

  • Ways of protecting data

Let's get started.

protection graphic icons

What Is Data Privacy?

Data privacy deals with the proper handling of sensitive data. Sensitive data may include; intellectual property data, financial data, medical data, and most commonly, personally identifiable information. The essence of data protection is to ensure the immutability and confidentiality of data. Individuals have a right over their information regarding its collection and usage.

Is There a Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security

Data security is similar to data privacy but not the same. However, they share the same attributes:

  • Both have access control, preventing unauthorized access to data or its use.

  • Both ensure the integrity of data - ensure data is unaltered and accurate while under certain custody.

  • Both require accountability - Companies' policies must document and uphold the privacy and security of data.

Data privacy concerns personally identifiable information. It focuses on how the collection of such data, usage, and what types may be collected.

Data security is different from privacy and involves the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of all data. Data security personnel actualize these elements of data security through measures such as data encryption, authorization, and Identification and Access Management (IAM).

people with cellphones

What Are the Data Privacy Laws?

Securing private data is important for preventing dangerous situations like identity theft, theft, and personal security, among many other situations. To this end, there is a need for data protection regulations and laws that can check data collection, storage, usage, access, and other issues surrounding data. This section will look at data protection laws internationally and here in the U.S.

Data Privacy in the U.S.

There is a two-tier legal structure- state and federal that safeguards data privacy in the U.S. The federal laws protect data in specific sectors such as financial information, children's information, educational information, and personal health information. An example of a specific federal data law is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Most Federal laws define personal information as someone's name and some identifying information such as Social Security Number. Also, some specific situations do not require specific consent before collecting or using personal information.

  • State-Level Data Privacy Law

Different states have their own set of laws that safeguard data privacy. They include security regulations and privacy statutes for particular industries like insurance, I.T., and health. In addition, state attorneys may enforce data privacy practices to protect consumer data within their states.

  • Federal Data Privacy Law

Federal Laws significantly determine how private organizations collect, use, and process personal data. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for regulation and law enforcement in the United States. For example, FTC promulgates rules that regulate financial information under The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and rules that protect children under The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

a hammer and the flag

International Data Privacy

This section looks at data privacy in Europe. Data privacy in the European Economic Area (EEA) is protected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR extensively defines personal information, its collection, and usage. It also outlines how data can be exchanged within the block and across other countries.

GDPR gives affirmative rights to an individual on how their data is collected or used. For example, GDPR requires that an individual has the right to consent or not as a legal requirement before giving out data. An individual also has a right to have their data corrected or deleted.

Businesses or individuals who wish to do business with EEA members are subject to the GDPR policies. Due to this requirement, countries outside EEA, such as Japan and Brazil, have enacted laws in line with GDPR. In addition, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) by the State of California is a notable data privacy legislation that is similar to GDPR in terms of recognizing data as a human right.

data security symbol on the cellphone screen

Why Is Data Privacy Important?

Most businesses require your data as you conduct business. The data is crucial for how and at what level you engage. Therefore, data is a vital asset for any business, without which it could be hard to conduct any business. Therefore, it is very important how a business collects, shares, and uses customers' data. Each company must outline its data privacy policies and abide by them. Protecting customers' data builds trust and is also their right.

Data privacy is regulatory compliance that a business must adhere to. Each business must ensure data privacy compliance regarding the collection, storage, and processing. Non-compliance may have a serious negative impact on the business, such as fines, loss of clients, and loss of revenue. In addition, the business may be at risk of ransomware, among many other implications.

Challenges Businesses Face When Protecting Data Privacy

Businesses face several challenges in collecting, storing, generating, and usage of personal data. Some of the challenges include:

  • Internal Threats

Internal threats from malicious contractors or employees or contractors who might access data and use it inappropriately pose a serious risk to businesses.

  • Data Breaches

Malicious attacks on the internet are common and consistently evolving. They can lead to a massive violation of data privacy if personal details are leaked.

  • Communication

Businesses may find it hard to explain to their clients why they need specific data subjects and how they intend to use them.

  • Cybercrime

Almost every business nowadays uses the internet in their operations. Cybercriminals always target these businesses and individual users who collect data on behalf of the business.

data privacy icon on the large screen

Ways Of Protecting Data

There are several ways to protect data and defend it against malicious attacks. Let's look at them:

Password Protection

A password is a common way of safeguarding the data within your network. When you use a password to protect data, only the people with the password can access the protected data. Avoid sharing the password with unauthorized access and regularly change it to make it efficient. Also, make it strong and unique by using a combination of special characters, numbers, and letters.

Data Encryption

Data encryption involves encoding or ciphering data within a network and makes it safe to transfer personal data by avoiding malicious attacks from cybercriminals in case of a data breach. All data states must be encrypted to prevent them from being stolen or corrupted. If one of the states is not encrypted, the data will be vulnerable. The different states of data are:

Data in transit: Refers to data being transmitted from a sender to a receiver. Such data is at the highest risk of interception or being hijacked and corrupted before it gets to the recipient. Such an instance may happen when browsing the internet.

Data at rest: Refers to stored data that is not in active use. Data at rest may be stored in a server or computer, among others places.

Data in use: Refers to actively generated, viewed, or updated data and is the most challenging to cipher.

Data Backup to the Cloud

Backing up data to the cloud makes it more reliable and easy to manage. It protects data from loss, so if you choose to back up data to the cloud, ensure you frequently do back up. Also, ensure that your cloud data storage is easily expandable.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM involves regulating the number of users who can access your network and data. Particular users should only access data that concerns them and be immediately terminated if they cease or are allowed to use it. You should discourage the use of shared accounts.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software

This software monitors well-known data threats and traffic flow. For example, cybercriminals take advantage of high traffic flow to attack websites. So these applications monitor and regulate traffic in and out of your network. They also give prompt alerts when there is a threat so that you take necessary measures to protect against data theft or corruption.

You can also configure the applications to neutralize known network threats. For example, two-factor authentication makes it hard for attackers to gain unauthorized access to personal accounts.

protection icon

Protect Your Data Today With Baker Inform.

Data privacy is an essential tool for businesses. Protecting data as an asset should be a top priority for businesses. Non-compliance to set data privacy regulations can negatively impact revenue and brand image. It can also lead to huge fines and legal action against your business. Ensure data protection by choosing foolproof data protection techniques.

Leave a Comment