What is Data Privacy and Why is Data Privacy Important?

What is Data Privacy and Why is IT Important?

Data Privacy Defined

Data privacy is the ability for one to control how, what, and where our personal or confidential information is gathered, stored or shared. This was important way before the digital age. With the internet and electronic records this has changed the meaning of data privacy.  

Privacy in terms of online activity

ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) track one’s ip address as well as one’s online activity even if you use a private/incognito browser window. Digital privacy laws and regulations set the foundation for how our information is gathered during browsing sessions and how it can and cannot be used and how we are informed about these processes. New search engine providers like Neeva are responding to the increased public demand by offering completely private ad free browsing services.  

What Companies do to Protect Our Private and Sensitive Data

With the move from having on premise infrastructure to the cloud, as well as rapid adoption of the cloud for computing, e-commerce, telemedicine as well as other online services, shows how important data privacy is. It also signifies how important data privacy practices are in order to safe guard our identity and sensitive information from cyber criminals as well as prevent our data being used in unethical ways.  

Personal Data Privacy

Types of personal information, which can be used to identify who you are includes:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number
There is also relevant information which is outside the digital world, such as:
  • Financial Data
  • Medical Records
  • Employee files
There are many forms that personal data can come in and it is essential to keep it protected
  Corporate Privacy Policies for Data Protection  

Corporate Privacy Policies

In terms of Data Protection and privacy for Businesses this is important in many ways. For a business its important that they keep the following secure:
  • Company information (Intellectual Property)
  • Employee Data
  • Information shared with customers and clients.
A privacy policy sets the foundation for the following:
  • Tracking
  • Storing
  • Sharing customer data collected one’s website
This helps corporations to establish compliance with an increasing number of privacy laws.  

Why Data Privacy is Important

Data privacy is important as it helps you to control what you choose to keep private. Everyone has the right to not allow their personal information to be used or shared with out consent, even if the sharing doesn’t lead to data theft or other cyber crimes. In addition, data privacy allows companies as well as individuals to do the following:  

Comply with Privacy Laws

Data privacy is becoming an important topic on a global scale. There are a wide variety of legislation’s  that have come into force. Some of the most notable are the following:  

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA, US Legislation)

With the younger generations becoming part of this ever increasingly connected world, the US enacted this federal law which requires parental consent before any personal information is gathered from children that are under the age of 13.  

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA, US Legislation)

This law protects a users privacy in terms of healthcare information collected by doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, or employers.  

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, European Legislation)

This law sets standards for the gathering and use of personal information in Europe. This policy allows for individual rights for opting out of information gathering or requesting ones information be deleted.   GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation  

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA, US Legislation)

This state law was enacted in 2018. This gives consumers more control of information that businesses gathered about them, as well as having the right to know what information is collected, and the right to opt out from the sale or sharing of their personal information.  

Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft is a very serious cyber crime in relation to data privacy and security. With just a few bits of personally identifiable information the thieves can start accessing lines of credit in your name, taking your tax refund and can drain your bank account. A lot of victims of identity theft do not realize what has occurred until after the damage is done. Monitoring the dark web is a good practice which scans the underbelly of the internet for any of your personal information and would notify you if any of your sensitive data is discovered.   Digital Identity Theft & Consumer Protection  

Consumer Protections

Protecting the consumer is the driving force for the many privacy laws that we have. It is essential for businesses to have these policies in place. In a recent study it was found that 74% of consumers highly value their privacy, and another 82% were concerned how their data was collected and is used. The value of a company is impacted when privacy policies are lacking or not in place. That is why companies are pushing to be more transparent and ethical when it comes to a users personal data in terms of creating privacy policies.  

Reducing the Impact of Caused by Hacking and Data Breaches

A hack is a type of malicious attack that attempts to gain unauthorized access to a companies infrastructure. A data breach on the other hand is the result of a hack. The goal for hackers is to steal private information such as passwords, credit card details, and banking information. In terms of business entities, they attempt to steal intellectual property, financial records, and customer data. For either scenario above, if one has strong practices in terms of cyber security as well as data privacy it can serve as a strong deterrent.   Reference: https://www.dashlane.com/blog/what-is-data-privacy-why-is-it-important

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