How to initiate data privacy reforms for the safety of an individual?

By Srikanth
8 Min Read
Data Privacy

Data Privacy is one of the branches of data security. It deals with how to handle the data properly while focusing on compliance with protection regulations. Data Privacy concentrates around how well data must be gathered, stored, directed and shared with third parties while also following the regulatory restrictions.

However, Data Privacy is not limited to proper handling or usage of data but is mainly about the expectation of the public to safeguard their privacy, where the individual is the key to this entire process. The laws or reforms of data protection aims to give an individual, the control on 

  • Their data
  • How it is processed
  • A Compliance with laws

Why is it important?

Two main reasons drive us to the need of having a data privacy reform or regulatory protection laws. 

  • Important asset: The biggest asset for any organization is its data. With the emerging trend in the data economy, companies have found significant value to collect, use and then share. Many technology biggies like Amazon, Google and Facebook have all constructed an empire with the help of the data economy. Transparency in a business is very important at the same time securing the privacy of a customer, a client or partners who demands it is equally relevant. Few organizations who ignored this importance have learned this hard way with huge privacy failures and irrevocable losses. 
  • Individual’s right: No one likes surveillance and that too an un-invited one. Every individual loves to live in their own space with the freedom to share their opinion. In the democratic world, it is crucial to protect the privacy of each individual. 

Data Privacy Reforms

Thankfully, lawmakers have finally recognized the significance of forming regulations on data privacy thereby holding the organizations and firm accountable to the data of end-user. All the businesses are now required to explain what sort of data privacy rules they hold and how those laws will affect their users. Like what kind of personal information it could contain and the ways they are going to use it. Let us understand the various reforms that have taken place globally to ensure the safety of an individual’s data privacy. 

  • GDPR: EU laws 

General Data Protection Regulation is the firsts of the intended and groundbreaking law against exploitation of personal data. It has made commendable laws to fine processors and the respective controllers of data and held them accountable. It is undoubtedly a wholesome protection law that gave all the data subjects their power to have a grip on the privacy policies. Although it was not the first law for data privacy, surely has those comprehensive regulations that reflected the practical issues in this digital era.

  • Healthcare

 The Healthcare industry is the easiest target for patients data breaches. Health records are more valuable than bank cards. That has caused a necessity for making a compliant policy to safeguard the personal information of the patient. HIPAA is one of the strongest laws enforced by the data protection of the US at the federal level. 

  • Financial

Another privacy law that you need to know is the GLBA. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley-Act. In this policy, all the financial institutes are required to secure the financial information of the consumer. To make this possible, a classification has been made to identify where exactly this data is stored. There are a variety of benefits a consumer can enjoy under this regulation. It can reduce huge fines and also can save from the reputational issues that occur to unauthorization of data. 

  • Innovative laws of US

The United States has reformed many laws for data protection and privacy. Few of them are innovative. IT has regulated laws that are taken care of by the states respectively while the other laws are concerning the whole nation. Few of them are like CCPA and the COPPA. The California Consumer Privacy Act limits all businesses in the state on how they collect and utilize data from the consumer. While COPPA is about protecting the personal data of children under 13 years. 

  • Other laws

All the above-mentioned laws are mostly frameworks that work on high-profile. One should always be aware of the privacy policies that apply to different domains, industries and businesses. There are a few laws that are purely applicable to a certain type of data. It is always worth checking various provisions on which data privacy regulations suits. 

Trends World Wide

There is a wide list of initiatives taken on data privacy. This indicates that there has been an accelerating change happening in how individuals and companies are identifying the importance of securing user data. Thriving businesses have all formed the required strategies in implementing the protection and privacy laws as a part of their business goals. The struggle is real even for the Top 4 companies of the world. They have all strived a lot to position themselves reliable in this aspect.  

Tips for businesses

Integrating the courses and training the staff on data privacy can be a very effective initiative to help the employees know what they are geared up for. This not only helps the onboarding teams but to the employees in general on how carefully they need to work to ensure privacy. Using the free tools available in the market for the security of data will help in understanding the level of security maintained for protecting the data privacy and what upgrades and features are required to purchase. Continuous monitoring of the security configurations helps to reduce the harm if detected at the primary stage. Never under-estimate them, hackers. They can cause irrevocable losses due to data breach. Have a mindset to trust but then you also need to verify. Limiting access across the network can help implement this process.

Tips for Individuals

Using technology is always fun, but also knowing how to secure your privacy is important too. Using multi-level authentication can be helpful to detect the real user of an application or access to data. Being cautious of the smart devices and protecting them with the latest software can help from being hacked. Always have the data backup. This ensures you are not compromised on the information if lost. Keep your data away from the odd content that requests you to share the information. 

Learning things is one thing and the implementation is another. So gaining knowledge on data privacy and the significant importance it holds is not sufficient. Understanding the availability of various reforms and initiating them to secure one’s data is the immediate need of the hour. Because data predators are on their job and so should we. 

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