Many people often use the terms “data privacy” and “data protection” interchangeably to mean the same thing. Although you’ll mostly find them bundled together in the same context, these two terms refer to two distinct concepts altogether. Data protection is all about securing important information against unauthorized access and use. On the other hand, data privacy involves authorizing access to protected data to the right parties.
Think of data protection as all the technical processes involved in implementing data security measures and data privacy as the ethical part of data security. Data privacy policies define the parties who have authorized access to sensitive or protected data and the limits of that authority.
Why Businesses Are Investing Heavily in Data Protection and Privacy
Many businesses today rely heavily on data-driven systems, such as websites, analytics, and ERPs, to run various business operations. Data has become a valuable resource. Here are some of the main reasons why businesses invest in data security systems and robust authorization protocols.
Comply with Data Security Regulations
International and national standardization bodies and governments have laid out clear guidelines and requirements regulating the use and access of any personal information collected by organizations. In the U.S., data regulations are governed and enforced by both the federal and statutory laws.
A good example is the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) that requires businesses operating in Los Angeles and other cities in California to abide by new requirements when collecting and storing data from their customers. Failing to comply with some of these data security legislation can attract hefty fines and even lead to the closure of the business.
Protect the Business from Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks
Data protection has grown into a major security concern for many organizations, especially E-commerce enterprises. Data breaches and cyber-attacks are growing more rampant, sophisticated, and damaging every single day. Businesses have to find ways of ensuring that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands.
If unsavory people gain unauthorized access to business data, they can use it to learn the business secrets, extort the business through ransoms, or deliberately sabotage the enterprise. Businesses can incur untold losses in the range of millions of dollars from data breaches. What’s more, data breaches can ruin a brand’s reputation and severely cripple its business on top of the financial losses.
Safeguard the Customers’ Information
Many businesses collect a vast amount of information from their customers that is useful for profiling, personalizing experiences, and analyzing business and marketing performance. Sensitive and personal data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses, and contact details should be safely stored and never used beyond the scope of the business.
Protecting this data behind strict privacy policies helps ensures that your customers do not fall victim to such cases as stolen identity. If such information leaks, the customers whose details get exposed or used in any way can even sue the company for any intangible and financial losses incurred.
Implementing robust data protection systems and privacy policies benefits both the business and its customers. If you don’t already have an up-to-date data security strategy, its time you explored the various options available today. Also, make sure to check with your state laws on data privacy regulations and requirements.