What Is Data Privacy?

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Data privacy describes a set of principles and guidelines to ensure respectful processing, protection, and handling of personal data. Due to a series of breaches and other consequences when mishandling personal information, data privacy has taken a central position in regulation and fines. These laws make financial and image consequences more severe.

Data privacy takes on fragmented legal concepts, especially in the United States. Different nations and states conceive of data privacy and data security differently. For example, the European Union regulation restricts the “collective negative impact an individual’s trade of information.” The United States privacy laws serve particular social purposes by protecting the data marketplace for privacy consumers. So the handling data for one jurisdiction does not necessarily meet another.

Although the nuances of data privacy differ depending on the culture, social needs, and regulations, some general principles do exist. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international body of government, businesses, and citizens, defined eight core privacy requirements:

  • Limit general data collection
  • Keep high Data Quality
  • Collecting data only for a specific purpose
  • Limit data usage
  • Enact security safeguards
  • Keep data open and transparent
  • Allow individuals to challenge data accuracy related to him or her
  • Keep organizations accountable for following the guidelines

Keeping in mind these recommendations, even when the law does not cover it, keeps organizations and citizens oriented with best data privacy practices.

Other Definitions Data Privacy Include:

  • “The management of consumers information” designed to build trust, protecting assets and maintaining Data Quality across different data environments. (Amber Lee Dennis)
  • “The security of individual and corporate digital identities to keep citizens safe in the digital and physical world.” (CyberArk)
  • “Preserving, protecting, enabling, and accelerating the hard-won business gains from digital efforts by ensuring that personalization at scale keeps personal data secure and private.” (McKinsey & Company)
  • “A principled focus on safeguarding operations and customers.” (TechRepublic)
  • “The ability to control what we hide and share about our information.” (Forbes)

Data Privacy Examples Include:

  • Facebook called to the US Senate to answer for practices towards personal data
  • A company installs and implements customized apps to manage the right to be forgotten, among other privacy needs
  • Data Privacy Day events, in January, to educate consumers and businesses about ways to manage personal information better
  • A project manager considers the security of personal information throughout an application lifecycle, instead of at the very end when discovering a data breach

Businesses Handle Private Data to:

  • Comply with regulations like the GDPR and CCPA
  • Build trust with customers
  • Attract prospective clients
  • Manage risk

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