What is Data Privacy and How to Improve it

Barrington Malcolm by   04.10.2019   Data Security

Data is a company’s most valuable asset. Yet, we are still seeing many enterprise organizations failing to give their data the proper protection it requires. For companies, compliance auditors and customers alike, the privacy of data is a key concern. So, what exactly is data privacy and how can you ensure that the data you store remains private?

What is Data Privacy?

Data Privacy (sometimes referred to as information privacy), is the branch of data security that is concerned with ensuring that data isn’t shared to the wrong people. Good data privacy means being able to determine whether data should be shared with third parties or whether it needs to remain within the organization. It also means being able to tell if data can be legally collected and stored. Many compliance regulations, including GDPR, HIPAA, PCI and more, require strict data privacy policies and practices.

The Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security

Data Privacy and Data security are often used as synonyms, but they are distinctly different. Data security is all to do with the processes, practices and solutions put in place to secure data against outside attackers and insider threats. Data Privacy on the other hand is more to do with how organizations use the data itself.

Data privacy is all about ensuring that when data is used by organizations it is used in a way that is compliant with any industry regulations and is in accordance with any agreed privacy rules that were agreed between the company and the data subject.

The Key Principles of Data Privacy

Probably the biggest aspect of ensuring data privacy is educating your employees on what to look out for when handling data. Employees need to be up to speed on best practices and principles for both data privacy and data security. Whenever data is collected, stored, processed or handled it should be done with the appropriate care and security measures in place.

A lot of data privacy comes down to common sense. You shouldn’t be using the data you collected to send unsolicited spam emails, track the location of your customers, record keystrokes or anything else that can be considered intrusive and unlawful.

Two Common Data Privacy Compliance Regulations

Knowing what steps, you need to take to ensure the privacy and security of your data will depend on the industry your organization sits within, the type of data you collect and what you intend to do with that data. There are numerous compliance regulations and one or several may apply to you. Two compliance regulations we commonly deal with are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Data Privacy and the GDPR

The GDPR protects the data of EU citizens specifically. There are a large number of specific policies related to data privacy in the GDPR, but mostly they revolve around giving more power to the data subjects around how their data is stored, handled and processed. If you are a company that collects the data of EU citizens, then the GDPR applies to you. You don’t necessarily have to even be in the EU yourself to fall under GDPR compliance.

Data Privacy and HIPAA

Healthcare related data (protected health information) is covered by the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA). If you believe your company falls under HIPAA compliance and you need help making sure that your data is secure, come and talk to us.

Check out LepideAuditor for more information to find out how you can improve data privacy in line with GDPR and HIPAA.

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