Why Implementing a Data Privacy Solution is Vital to Your Business
In recent years, data privacy has become extremely important — a single company can now have access to the personal information of millions of clients. If hackers get into the company’s database, they can easily misuse, leak, or delete the data, potentially putting the clients in danger.
That’s why privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act 2018, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, now require companies to have robust security protocols to protect clients’ personal information.
Privacy laws also exist to protect users from companies because users deserve to know how their data is being used, sold, or processed.
You must follow these laws to protect the personal information of your clients from being leaked, misused, or deleted. These laws will also help you safeguard their privacy rights.
Read on to learn more about the importance of data privacy and how you can comply with data privacy laws.
The Importance of Data Privacy
Data privacy is important because we live in an increasingly digitised world where sensitive personal data such as healthcare and financial information can easily fall into the wrong hands.
For example, every time a consumer downloads an app or buys something online, they risk having their data stolen or misused, whether it’s done by the company itself or an outside threat actor — especially when they have to enter personal details such as credit card numbers and addresses. That’s because the vendors they buy the products or apps from may not be entirely secure from threat actors, even if they are transparent about how they store and process users’ information.
Data privacy is also vital because it’s an ethical issue. Privacy laws give users various privacy rights, including:
- The right to limit access, use, and collection of their personal data
- The right to update, inspect, delete, or correct personal data
- Freedom from unauthorised access to their data
That’s why laws like the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, and the CCPA require business owners to follow strict privacy standards for collecting, processing, sharing, and selling consumers’ personal data.
These regulations give consumers control over their personal information to better protect them from mishandling of data, inappropriate processing of data, identity theft, fraud, data breaches, and more.
How To Comply With Data Privacy Laws
Complying with data privacy laws sounds challenging, particularly if you’re a new company. Below are some tips to get you started and point you in the right direction.
Create Detailed Privacy and Cookie Policies
To comply with data privacy laws, you should create detailed privacy policies and cookie policies.
If you already have these policies, look through them and see if they need to be updated. Make sure your policies are tailored to your business — don’t just download templates and put your name on them. Or worse yet, don’t just copy and paste from someone else.
In addition, you should also consider using Termly’s cookie consent manager. Their cookie consent tool will help you manage your consent requirements, create cookie policies, and generate cookie banners that comply with global privacy laws like the GDPR, ePrivacy Directive, and CCPA.
Data Privacy Laws and Regulations
There are many privacy laws around the world that may impact your business. Some of the most important ones include the following:
The EU’s GDPR is one of the strictest privacy regimes in the world. It applies to any company that processes the personal data of EU residents, so you need to comply with this regulation as long as you have clients who live in the EU, even if you don’t have offices in the EU.
The GDPR requires you to:
- Obtain unambiguous user consent, or use another lawful base for processing, every time you process their information (e.g., through an “Agree” button)
- Notify users within a reasonable period if any of their data is breached
- Regularly assess your site’s data security
- Provide the contact information of your company’s data protection officer, if applicable
- Anonymise or pseudonymise any personally identifiable information you’ve collected from clients
Data Protection Act 2018
The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s primary data privacy law and the UK’s answer to the GDPR. It requires you to obtain users’ consent or use another lawful base before processing, storing, and obtaining their personal data.
Users also have the right to correct inaccurate information about them.
The Data Protection Act 2018 has four parts:
- Part one is based on the GDPR and fuses the GDPR into UK law.
- Part two makes changes to the GDPR, so it fits into UK law.
- Part three implements a new privacy regime for law enforcement.
- Part four implements a new privacy regime for UK intelligence services.
Because it extends the GDPR, this act has more lawful bases for processing sensitive data. As such, it applies to the following cases:
- Public interest purposes
- Social security, employment, and social protection purposes
- Research, archiving, and statistics purposes
- Criminal convictions data
- Health and social care purposes
The EU’s ePrivacy Directive is a piece of privacy legislation that concerns the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector.
It’s nicknamed the “EU Cookie Law” because one of its most notable effects was the proliferation of cookie consent popups — cookies are small text files that store information about users.
Specifically, only nonessential cookies like social media, analytics, and advertising cookies are included. Therefore, you don’t need to follow the ePrivacy Directive’s rules if your website only uses essential cookies.
This directive requires you to:
- Refrain from putting cookies and trackers on users’ browsers until they consent.
- Ask users to consent to all cookies and trackers on your website.
- Give users detailed information about all of the cookies and trackers on your site.
- Give users the ability to opt out of cookies — they should be able to withdraw their consent as easily as they can give it.
The Liability of Not Being Compliant
You can face heavy fines and even criminal charges for failing to comply with the relevant privacy regimes.
GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 penalties depend on which EU member states are involved and how severe your violations are.
- For severe violations, you can get fined up to 4% of your total global turnover from the previous fiscal year or 20 million euros, whichever is higher.
- For less severe violations, you may receive fines of up to 10 million euros or 2% of your entire global turnover from the previous fiscal year, whichever is higher.
ePrivacy Directive Penalties
The ePrivacy Directive gives each EU member state the ability to determine penalties on a case-by-case basis. As such, penalties will vary depending on your location.
Most local regulators will do the following if you fail to comply with the ePrivacy Directive:
- Request for changes: The regulator will ask you to make your site compliant if they determine that it is noncompliant.
- Enforcement: If you fail to comply with the ePrivacy Directive after the request for changes, your regulator will list actions you need to take within a period of time. If you don’t follow these instructions, they can impose fines and criminal charges.
Data privacy is one of the most pressing issues today — various governments have enacted privacy regimes like the GDPR, ePrivacy Directive, and CCPA.
Many of these laws apply to businesses regardless of location, so it’s essential for companies to stay on top of all data privacy laws.
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