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Data Privacy

Data privacy in cyber security is an essential part, but it is also something that has existed outside of the cyber world.

Data privacy is an important priority for many organizations that deal with sensitive data. A website that does not comply can get fined for huge amounts. Still, you may not know about the history behind data privacy law and what data privacy issues may threaten your organization. In addition, it is important to stay updated with all new data privacy laws and regulations. Awareness can make a big difference in terms of how organizations can adapt, become more secure, and meet compliance.  

In America, data privacy laws were initially established back in 1974 with the Privacy Act. It was a federal law that established the Code of Fair Information Practice on the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information by any federal agencies. Notably, HIPAA Health and Medical Privacy were established in 1996. 

That was decades ago. Now, data privacy laws have adapted to the times as technology evolves and people learn more about how data should be protected. Some states have different, more specific, and stringent requirements on data privacy, such as California, which has the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

The American Data Privacy and Protection Act is an act newly proposed between 2021-2022. It is a federal online privacy bill that would alter and regulate how organizations are supposed to keep and use consumer data. Online privacy has been an increasingly key topic in the past two decades as web use has become not just ubiquitous but even necessary for many people.

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What Is Data Privacy

To answer the question of what data privacy is, it is basically the right a citizen has in regard to how their sensitive, personal data is used or collected. Data privacy in cyber security is an essential part, but it is also something that has existed outside of the cyber world. Organizations collecting and utilizing data belonging to individuals (or other groups) has been nothing new. It facilitates many parts of society.  

There are numerous different types of data privacy. The commonly referred to ones are as follows:

Another kind of data privacy surrounds student records, which may seem less prominent in data security than the other kinds of data privacy. It is still very important. Student data privacy would include information such as student grades, transcripts, classes, and other information relevant to the individual while they were pursuing some sort of formal education. 

So next, the question is, what exactly is cyber privacy? Is it different from usual data privacy? 

Cyber privacy is essentially how protected you are while you are traversing the Internet. Online security protocols should maintain a certain amount of cyber privacy when you visit reputable websites. Cyber privacy helps give users more control over their private information and how it is being used. 

In today’s day and age, it should be expected that your data is collected somehow. When visiting websites, it is not a bad idea to browse and see how they are collecting your personal information. 

Why Is Data Privacy Important

You may be wondering why data privacy is important. There are countless benefits of data privacy, and the importance of data privacy law cannot be understated: it protects individuals from fraud, identity theft, and other threats. 

One reason data privacy is important is that it protects people’s physical safety. If someone can be identified through what they post, share, do, or visit online, it can be extremely dangerous. People may become open to identity fraud, financial fraud, stalking, and other threats. 

Data privacy gives people the ability to choose how they share their personal information and to whom they are revealing it. It doesn’t necessarily restrict companies from collecting data, it simply makes the process more transparent. 

Sensitive data like healthcare information, financial information, personally identifiable data, and other data need to be protected. Otherwise, individuals may be hurt financially, in person, or be exposed to other kinds of threats. 

On a larger scale, data privacy is necessary because it protects governments from national security threats, which may threaten the safety of entire nations. Governments are under attack from cyber crime practically endlessly and relentlessly all around the world, and the implications of a vulnerability can be great – and devastating. 

Data privacy is a large concern, mostly when companies and governments take individual or other organizations’ information without consent. 

Companies that do not comply with data privacy laws may need to pay extensive fines. For example, GDPR fines range from USD 100 to USD 50,000 per violation. Companies could pay up to a total of USD 25,000 to USD 1.5 million for all violations of a single requirement within a year – this is a tremendous amount of money, and it is likely that customers who hear about the lack of compliance or data privacy issues will not be pleased.

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General Data Protection Regulation

General data protection regulation, also known as GDPR law, is the EU’s new data protection law. It is an incredibly robust and tough privacy law. It was approved in 2016 and went into effect in May of 2018, thus replacing the previous Data Protection Directive. When it comes to data protection, Europeans can generally count on the GDPR. Personal data collection and usage have been much more strictly regulated since the GDPR came into force. 

For companies that operate or seek to break into European Union markets, it is necessary to understand how you can meet compliance requirements. Unfortunately, GDPR compliance can be complicated because of all the GDPR requirements that exist. Fortunately, understanding it well can make the process a lot more painless. 

With the GDPR, organizations must inform consumers if their information has been breached. The GDPR also applies to any website, no matter where they are based, as well as ensuring mandated assessments of the data security of websites. 

Visitors need to be notified and explicitly consent to have their information collected. This notification may come in the form of a pop-up with information about data privacy and a button they must click on before continuing (or some other kind of action). 

Some kinds of lack of compliance, such as HIPAA, can result in criminal penalties. HIPAA violations may result in up to ten years of imprisonment. This, however, depends on the case. 

Data Privacy Policy

Every company should keep a data privacy policy, which is essentially a legal document that is visible on your company website. This helps your company stay compliant with any regulations that require organizations to announce their data privacy policies. 

Your data privacy policy should essentially detail the ways in which your company may use customer data. While you do not have to go extremely in-depth about how you will use every kind of customer data you collect, it is important to have a data privacy policy that sets reasonable expectations for your visitors and customers. That way, people who are worried about their data privacy will read your data privacy policy for the company and cease interacting with you if they do not approve. 

You can see many data privacy policy examples if you Google privacy policy. These can help guide your company on what kind of privacy policy you should expect to share on your site in your industry. You may notice that the data privacy policies are put in accessible places on websites, perhaps even on popups or banners, as soon as the guest enters the site. This is because the legal document should be easily visible so visitors are not blindsided by any unusual data privacy policies your company may have. 

Typically, compliance requirements mean you should go over what kinds of information you intend to gather, how it may be shared, whether there have been recent policy updates, and how visitors can make changes or review any of their stored information. Of course, regulations vary, and it is always necessary to double-check what your company needs to do to comply. There are numerous acts and regulations, some well known like the GDPR, others more obscure. 

Even if your company is not actually subject to any compliance laws or regulations that require you to have a policy in place on your site, it can still be beneficial to have one. This is because oftentimes, companies will use analytics tools, platforms, email tools, and other similar solutions, which means you should have a visible data privacy policy. For example, Google Analytics requires companies to post a privacy policy.

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