WHAT ARE PRIVACY LAWS

What Are Privacy Laws? Which Are The Privacy Laws Business Should Comply With?

In this new age, especially with technology increasing daily, data is now a very important asset and with the daily increase in the way businesses get data from individuals, privacy is now a major issue and now a great concern for businesses and individuals. Privacy rules are therefore introduced to protect people’s privacy and also to enhance their privacy rights.

There’s now a daily increase in the way businesses source out information and data from their customers and the customers in turn are beginning to see the potential disadvantages of data collection and the possible havoc that can happen if this data falls into the wrong hands.

Although, there are times that the data incurred are not accurate. This bad data can be frustrating for marketers and sales reps because relationships can’t be built with customers because of the incorrect data.  You should use some of the best data quality tools to quality check the data you’ve sourced out.

Asides from the fact that you can’t reach the right customers which can, in turn, reduce your run-rate, bad data is inaccurate and it is a complete waste of money. Whether the data incurred are good or bad ones, you still have to adhere to privacy laws. So, it’s better to use good data quality tools to work on the data acquired.

Privacy laws protect personal information (for example, name, address, email, telephone number, people’s picture, and even preferences), opinions, or anything that can make someone identifiable. As much as privacy laws are advised to be strictly adhered to, data privacy and privacy security are other aspects businesses should be highly concerned about. Data privacy is most times enforced by state or federal laws according to their location.

Although privacy security protects the firm’s data from being accessed or being used in a malicious way, there are no specific ways to secure privacy as it varies from firm to firm and also dependent on the types and amount of data collected and stored.

While paying attention to data privacy by adhering to privacy laws, you should know that privacy security is also important because, without having everything in place, there will be an incomplete program and this will eventually open the firm to constant attacks and costly mistakes.

Although some small businesses are exempted from these rules, you should still choose to comply with these privacy laws because you have the legal obligation to do so. And more importantly, because it should reduce the risk of complaints made against you, and also help retain the trust your customers have for you.

Asides the benefits of adhering to privacy laws, the disadvantages on businesses include the cost of training employees because you need to train all your employees in order to be sure that the laws are strictly adhered to. You also have to regularly check your insurance and evaluate your risks of suffering a security incident.

Walk with me as we discuss some privacy laws businesses should comply with.

COMMON PRIVACY LAWS BUSINESSES SHOULD COMPLY WITH

As a business, the need to protect data and consumer’s privacy has greatly increased. Not only do we have laws and regulations that provide guidance on how to collect and gather data, but there are also regulations that inform businesses on what they must do when there’s a data breach.

We also have data access regulations, laws on how to store data so that they are kept safe and there are even regulations that give guidance on who the firm has to train on data privacy. Notwithstanding, every employee needs to be trained on data privacy.

Below are some key data privacy laws affecting businesses;

1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

WHAT ARE PRIVACY LAWS

HIPAA has created some regulations to provide standards for the patient’s information. The standard is to be followed by doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and any business that has to do with personal health information.

HIPAA is a federal law that protects any health-related information that is considered sensitive from being exposed without the patient’s awareness. The privacy law creates a standard for individuals to know and control how their personal health information is being used.

HIPAA privacy rules give individuals the right to see and keep a copy of their health records, the right to correct their health information, the right to receive a notice on how their information is being used, right to make a decision to give or not give out your health information for any purpose, and the right to get a report on how your information is being used.

The 18 identifiers designated under HIPAA include name, geographical element, specific dates, phone number, fax number, email address, social security number, medical record number, health plan beneficiary number, account number, vehicle license plates, and other identifiers, device serial number, website URL, IP address, finger or voiceprint, photographic image of any body part, and any other characteristic that could uniquely identify the individual (like a tattoo or birthmark).

2. The California Consumer Privacy Act(CCPA)

WHAT ARE PRIVACY LAWS

This law applies to companies that do their businesses in California, companies that generate about $25 million or more as revenue per annum. It also applies to companies that earn more than half of their revenue yearly by selling consumer’s personal information, and firms that buy or sell personal details of 50,000 or more consumers.

This law gives access to any California resident to get a list of any information a business has about them and they are even entitled to know the people those businesses have shared their data with.

Individuals also have the right to know how their information is being used and stored, the right to delete personal information with some exceptions though, the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information, and the right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.

If any firm violates this privacy rule, individuals have the right to sue them even if there’s no data breach yet.

Identifiers of personal information include name, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, passport number, commercial information (such as records of personal property, products or services purchased, and so on), biometric information, professional or employment-related data, geolocation information, education data, etc.

3. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

WHAT ARE PRIVACY LAWS

GDPR is one of the most difficult data privacy regulations to adhere to. It came into play in 2018 as a way to protect EU citizens when it comes to data collection and privacy.

GDPR applies to businesses that have a presence in an EU country, any business that processes personal data of European residents even if they are not present in an EU country, companies with more than 250 staffs, and companies with employees less than 250 but has a data-processing impact on the rights and freedoms of data subjects.

In a way, this rule affects almost all companies. Just like the CCPA compliance, it gives individuals the right to know what data is being collected, how it is being collected, and how it is being used. GDPR also sets rules for how and when businesses must report breaches.

Although the privacy law gives a tiered approach to fines and penalties based on how serious the offense is, it should not be taken for granted but rather strictly adhered to.

4. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS)

WHAT ARE PRIVACY LAWS

This privacy law is not a law enforced by the government but rather imposed and enforced by an independent regulatory body, The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Councils.

The businesses subjected to these regulations are the ones that accept, store, or, transmit cardholder data. It also applies to third-party vendors that handle credit card payment. This regulation ensures that these businesses properly handles and stores credit card data.

PCI-DSS expects that these companies will meet the standards of their requirements and these requirements include:

  • Protect system with firewalls
  • Configure passwords
  • Protect the data of cardholders they have with them
  • Encrypt data transmissions of their customers
  • Regularly update their software, especially their anti-virus
  • Assign a  unique ID to everyone that has access to the computer
  • Restrain physical access to cardholder data
  • Implement log management
  • Carry out vulnerability scans and penetration tests
  • Risk assessments and documentation

CONCLUSIVELY

In the society lately, it is no longer a bone of contention that data privacy and privacy security are aspects businesses should be highly concerned about.  Asides the fact that your business might be investigated if it does not adhere strictly to privacy laws, you also gain your customers’ trust and as well earn their respect.

You should really understand the privacy laws you are legally obligated to so that you can comply with them.  Even if you have no legal obligation to any privacy law, it is usually very beneficial to implement good privacy practices.

Always inform people when you collect their personal details, use this information only for the purpose for which you collected them, only release personal information to a third party only if they are reputable, secure this information very well, and always review your privacy procedures from time to time. With this, you are good to earn trust and respect from your audience and even obey the laws and regulations you have obligations to.

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