Preparing for Data Privacy Compliance (1/2)

Xiangjun Xu Published May 17, 2023

Preparing for Data Privacy Compliance (1/2)_image_1

The digital revolution means we can exchange vast quantities of data at lightning speed. What we do with all that information has led to a raft of legislation that’s there to help protect the privacy of everyone.

When you’re trading and exchanging information across borders, you might still have to adhere to data protection laws made in other countries. There’s a legal minefield out there and, if you don’t prepare properly, you could find yourself in trouble. 

Get ready by reading on for your guide to key data laws and what they could mean for you and your business.

A Roundup of Key Data Laws and Regulations

The consequences of not taking data protection seriously are potentially very risky for any kind of business. Governments enforce the rules and the fines for non-adherence can be eye-watering. Penalties could easily cause a company to go bust in an instant.

This is one of the reasons why using is such a smart move. We are there to help you cross the “T’s” and dot the “I’s” so that you know your documents are compliant. 

So, what are the key laws that you need to know about and adhere to? Here’s the lowdown on some of them:

  • GDPR refers to the European Union’s (EU’s) privacy laws
  • CCPA stands for the California Consumer Act
  • HIPAA means the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
  • LGPD refers to Brazil’s General Data Protection Law 

Your first step will be to engage with your legal team about laws that affect your business. By doing that, you’ll know where you stand with your data and any potential risks. 

You’ll then be able to use to locate Personal Identifiable Information (PII) wherever it lurks in your data universe. After that, you’ll have the opportunity to identify when any data you store may be at risk of violating privacy regulations. 

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR came into effect in 2018 and claims to be the harshest privacy and security law in the world. Although created by the EU, it can apply to organizations anywhere. That’s provided that they target or collect data related to people in the EU. 

The EU is keen to point out that it will levy tough fines on anyone who violates its security and privacy standards. Penalties can reach into the tens of millions of dollars.

The regulation itself is broad and far-reaching. That can make GDPR compliance an intimidating prospect, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Remember that if you process the personal data of EU citizens or residents then the GDPR applies to you even if you’re not based in the EU.

The GDPR’s 7 Protection and Accountability Principles 

These are: 

  1. Transparency, fairness, and lawfulness
  2. A limitation to the reasons you collect data
  3. Keeping data to a minimum 
  4. Being accurate
  5. Limitations to the amount of data you can store 
  6. Confidentiality and integrity 
  7. Being accountable 

You must only collect and process as much data as necessary. It is your job to ensure that the personal data you keep is accurate and up to date. You can only store PII for as long as necessary. Your company must process data in a way that ensures appropriate:

  • Security
  • Integrity
  • Confidentiality

You could, for example, achieve this by using encryption. 

GDPR and Accountability

The rules say that data controllers have to be able to show they are GDPR compliant. This is not something you or your business can do after the fact. That means if you believe you are compliant with the GDPR but can’t demonstrate how then you’re not GDPR compliant. 

There are several ways to prove you’re complying. These include: 

  • Maintaining a detailed record of the data you’re collecting
  • Demonstrating how you use the collected data
  • Training staff and implementing security measures
  • Having contracts with third parties to process data on your behalf

Issues Around Data Security

You must handle data securely. That means using adequate technical means to do so. This includes having procedures such as ensuring your staff use two-factor authentication to access accounts where you store personal data.

You’ll also need to take organizational measures. For example, that could mean ensuring you have a section about data privacy policy in a staff handbook. It could also mean you limit access to PII to certain employees.

If your company experiences a data breach, you’ll have a maximum of 72 hours to inform the people affected. If you don’t meet the deadline, you could face penalties.

There are also strict rules about what constitutes consent from consumers to process data about them. For example, data subjects must give their info freely and in a way that is unambiguous. You must also keep a record of evidence of consent.

It’s worth remembering that, since Brexit, the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the EU. Therefore the GDPR no longer applies to the UK and you would have to comply with UK data protection laws instead.

The California Consumer Act (CCPA)

This is the most comprehensive data-privacy legislation in the history of the USA. The Act enables California residents to find out what data companies and websites collect about them. 

This new law lets people force companies not to sell their data to third parties and/or delete any data already collected. It’s very similar to the GDPR. The CCPA also puts the onus on other U.S. states to enact similar laws.

That has set the ball rolling for a movement to protect the privacy of the consumers online across all the states in America. The result would be to give consumers more transparency and control over their private data.

Continue reading: Preparing for Data Privacy Compliance (2/2)