Organizations around the world are under increased scrutiny to protect their customer's critical data. Governments around the world are implementing data privacy regulations to protect this valuable data. Complying with these regulations has become vital and mandatory to run a business.
A data privacy regulation is a set of rules and guidelines an organization has to follow that gives their customers more control over how their data is being used. This way, customers can share only what they want to and can be sure that they aren't under constant surveillance.
Data privacy regulations are important for protecting personal information from being misused, complying with regulators, preventing penalties and fines, enabling trust with customers, and showcasing ethical business practices.
For example, Target lost around 40 million credit card numbers because of a PCI DSS compliance breach. It had to pay $18.5 million in settlements and significantly more on legal fees.
Regulatory bodies and governing agencies around the world have established different regulations for specific industries. Some of the standard data privacy regulations include:
The GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) bill is one of the most exhaustive data privacy laws enacted in 2018 to protect the rights of citizens of the European Union. It applies to organizations that:
The CCPA: The California Customer Privacy Act is enacted in the United States to protect the personal data of California residents. With this, customers can exercise more authority over what they share with organizations. Any Californian customer can view all the information a company has saved about them along with the list of third parties the data has been shared with. The CCPA applies to the following categories of organizations:
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is the standard for healthcare organizations. It was passed in 1996 to protect sensitive patient health information from being shared without the patient's consent or knowledge.
This applies to companies that deal with the sensitive health information of customers. Any business that provides treatment, payment services, operations in the healthcare industry and their associate business that deals with patient information should be HIPAA compliant.
The PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance is the set of requirements for organizations that store, transmit, or process credit card details. This was established in 2006 by businesses like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express to improve safety and consumer trust in the payment ecosystem and to enhance consumer data privacy.
This applies to all organizations that store, process, or transmit the data of the cardholder. There are 12 major requirements including using and maintaining a firewall and proper password protection to be PCI DSS compliant.
There are various challenges associated with complying to data privacy regulations—the complexity and the evolving nature of regulations, the costs associated with adhering to compliances, employee awareness and training, and data governance to name a few. Despite these challenges, organizations must prioritize data privacy compliance to protect their customers, maintain their reputation, and mitigate legal and financial risks.
Consult with your organization's in-house data policy experts or external consultants to establish what data privacy laws apply to your business and what does not, and implement necessary changes to comply with these policies.
A DPIA will detail the process that will identify the risks associated with handling personal data and tries to minimize the risk as early as possible, resulting in increased personal data privacy for the customers. Conducting DPIAs will help you maintain compliance with regulatory bodies, ensure users are not at risk of data breaches, and reduce data protection risks to your organizations.
If your business has to comply with different data privacy regulations, it is vital to conduct an internal audit at regular intervals. Assigning a dedicated person to take care of auditing compliance processes and providing them with the right tools can be helpful in preventing major cyber breaches that might bring your business to a standstill.
Backing up and storing detailed reports of compliance-related activities will help you to get away from hefty legal fines and penalties from regulatory bodies. Creating a backup and storing all the details will also help you to demonstrate compliance in case there is a violation investigated by the concerned authorities.
When things go downhill and there is a breach, after finding the source and establishing a security fix, it is important to inform the concerned authorities and the affected customers. The quicker the breach is reported, the faster authorities can spring into action and guide your organization, and the affected customers will have more time to protect themselves from identity theft or other frauds.
Data privacy is an essential part of any business, not only because it helps you comply with data privacy regulations, but also because it builds trust and protects your customer's valuable data. Establishing a solid data privacy regulation program within your organization and using a log management or compliance solution like EventLog Analyzer to automate the process of monitoring the adherence to data privacy regulations will help your organization comply with data privacy requirements in line with various industry standards and regulations.
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