Data is the lifeblood of companies, and it is growing at an incredible rate as databases of businesses keep expanding to accommodate more and more data. Along with the massive expansion comes the growing responsibility of securing data properly so that there is no compromise in ensuring complete safety of privacy personal data.
Data related to various business areas and activities including personal data of customers and employees, financial transactions, product information are all crucial for making business decisions in conjunction with the work processes followed by employees for delivering products and services on time.
Being one of the most valuable assets of companies, data protection acquires huge importance. Besides safeguarding data from unauthorized access and use, companies must ensure complete data integrity. They must update it regularly so that it is always correct and maintain its complete confidentiality or privacy.
When people deal with some companies and share their personal data with them, the minimum they expect is that the data remains safe with them. When data remains adequately protected companies become more trustworthy to its customers that augurs well for business growth.
Proper data management is critical to ensure that data remains protected always. It also leads to legal compliance by meeting the stipulations of data protection laws and regulations. The reputation built on data protection goes a long way in improving your business.
Meeting legal requirement
For businesses to survive, it is not just enough to focus on doing good for customers by taking measures in protecting personal data but at the same time, maintain privacy. Just as having the required license and fulfilling the requirements of commercial laws is essential to run any business, so also it is equally essential to ensure compliance with the data protection laws.
Every country has its own rules and regulations about data security which are very stringent and complying with it is essential to run businesses smoothly.
Most interestingly, data protection laws apply to individuals and businesses alike as it has happened with the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR adopted by the European Union (EU). All data processing must happen in strict conformity to the laws which automatically ensures its protection.
The Risks Associated with your online presence
Just as no one would like to leave money on the table, they would also not want to part with their personal information. But the digital age has brought with it its own set of risks that people face when interacting online, especially during transactions that entail the sharing of personal information.
Any action that we take online reveals a little bit of our real existence. Even to enroll for a newsletter subscription you must share all personal details like name, address, telephone number, e-mail in the least.
There can be instances when you may have to share information about your education, employment, bank and credit card details, and so on. Interacting on social media channels is another source of leaving our digital footprints together with personal information. All such personal information is accessible to many people which could pose a threat to privacy.
Profiling people with personal data
It is a way in marketing to create buying personas by profiling people based on their personal data that also reveals their online behavior. Companies assimilate a plethora of information that you leave behind as part of your browsing history. They collate and analyze that to establish your personal profile that they can use for effectively marketing their products and services at a personal level.
It creates a situation when they can market products and services specifically for you. This gives them the opportunity of coaxing you into purchasing things that you are merely contemplating and have not yet made up your mind about buying.
While the above might not be much harmful, there are other severe consequences of profiling, when people use your personal profile for some fraudulent financial transaction or political reasons. Access to personal details like ethnicity and religion can have life-threatening effects if it falls in the wrong hands.
Ensuring safe online existence
The purpose of data protection laws is to keep data protected so that people can maintain their freedom and rights to keep their personal data completely confidential. Companies have built empires by using personal data for business gains as they find enormous value in collecting, using, and sharing data. And sharing of data that can turn very dangerous for individuals who remain exposed to various means of exploitation.
It can even go to the extent of unsolicited surveillance by unwanted entities, including governments. To prevent misuse of personal data, companies must abide by the data protection laws of their country. This would ensure that personal data remains safe from misuse.
Data privacy is different from data security
Loosely speaking, we often use the terms data privacy and data security interchangeably even though these are distinctly different as chalk and cheese. Data security ensures that data remains protected with no chances of breaches. But it does not restrict companies from using data in whichever way they want, including selling personal data.
Data security protects data from hackers and malicious users within the organization. But Data Privacy is entirely different as it focuses on the manner of collecting and using data as well as the way of sharing it.
The laws about data privacy are very clear in providing a guideline to data collecting companies. They must collect and use the data for specific purposes only after obtaining the consent of the concerned person. Collecting data without consent amounts to a violation of the law.
Companies are responsible for safeguarding end-user data, and they must have clarity about the data privacy laws that impact their users. It is essential to know the country and state from where the data originated, what kind of personally identifiable information it might contain, and how the data will be used.
The laws of data protection are among the most important legal reforms of any country. Its violation can have far-reaching consequences on businesses; it helps to maintain data privacy.