What is Data Privacy: An Easy Guide(2021)


Data Privacy is a function of the data protection area that deals with the suitable management of data and information, focusing on compliance with data protection rules and regulations. Data Privacy is revolved around data collection, storage, management, and sharing with any third party, as well as compliance with relevant privacy law. Not only does data privacy help in Data Security but also creates a Data Protection area with protected usable data as an output.

Data protection laws globally aim at empowering individuals to know how, by whom, why their data is being used and giving them control over their data. Data Privacy aims that data shared by customers should be used only for the intended purpose.

A few of the Data Privacy Laws are as follows:

  • United Nations’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  • EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is Data Privacy?
  2. Importance of Data Privacy
  3. Data Privacy vs Data Security
  4. Data Privacy Risk Examples

1. What is Data Privacy?

Data Privacy is the right of a citizen to have control over the collection and usage of personal information. It is also called freedom from interference or intrusion. It also leads to a procedure for proper handling, dealing, processing, collecting, and sharing of personal data along with compliance with data protection laws. Data Privacy is the principle, policy, and procedure that governs the authority to access data. This includes all those who have been granted access to such data.

2. Importance of Data Privacy

With the rise in the data in the economy, companies find immense value in collecting, sharing, and using data. Abiding by the privacy policy and managing the data that is collected is vital for building trust and accountability with employees, clients, and partners who expect privacy.

The importance of gaining trust is the ability to deliver and enforce a healthy company data privacy policy. National and international bodies around the world are enacting new data privacy regulations for enhancing awareness among citizens and lawmakers who may not be experts.

Organizations with secured data privacy programs reduce the security incidents relating to a privacy breach. Guarding against the erosion of data is important to prevent losing clients or other business deals and also various fines and penalties. 

Loss of personal information can hurt individuals. It can also result in a loss of trust of the organization from where the data has been breached. It further tarnishes the goodwill of the firm and can have a long-term negative impact.

3. Data Privacy vs Data Security

Data Privacy and security are relative terms but are separate in their way. They both involve controlling the data of the user. But their definition is different technically.

Data security involves the rules, policies, protocols, and procedures which relate to securing confidential and sensitive data from hackers, cybercriminals, and malicious intruders. Such policies ensure confidentiality of data, integrity, and ready availability. 

On the other hand, data privacy is the policies and principles as to who may have access to data. This means people within the department or organization can access the data. 

4. Data Privacy Risk Examples

It is of utmost importance to keep data private as it leads to hazardous consequences. Individuals and organizations both have to be vigilant about their data. Few of the Data Privacy Risks have been mentioned as under:

1) Vulnerabilities in Applications

Any information system on the cloud or the web should be fully secured to avoid any casualties. Therefore one should have a checklist ready to ensure privacy compliance in the program before installing a new one. 

2) Training of Employees

Adequate training and awareness of the data privacy basics should be given to every member of the team. This will help to protect data from the root level. Also, they should be trained and guided so professionally that minor issues can be resolved by themselves and the need for IT professionals arise only in critical conditions.

3) Transferring data only through secured channels

It is a must to always transmit sensitive data files only through secured channels and protocols. Insecure channels often result in hampering the data and loss of privacy. Viruses and hackers are constantly keeping track of easily accessible data, and so secured networks should always be preferred.

4) Transparent Privacy Policies, Terms & Conditions

Everyone who is dealing with the information system should have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions and the privacy policies to which they are agreeing and obliging. 

5) Backup plan in case of the slightest hint of irregularity

An incident response plan should be well developed, rehearsed, and ready in action in case any issue arises. Backups are an integral part of all organizations and should be secured with the best possible security systems.

6) Collection and Maintenance of only Necessary Data

Only the data which is required for a specific purpose should have consented. Many organizations only collect and maintain relevant data required for the transaction. Unnecessary data increases the storage and may hamper some sensitive information as well. Hence it should be to work only on necessary data and not waste time and energy on unnecessary data.

7) Disposal of not required Personal data

It is essential to keep the personal information of all employees and customers confidential. Such data should be maintained only for the period of a relationship, and thereafter it can be saved in a secure folder that may be required only in extreme cases. 

8) Problems of Session expiration

When personal information is provided to a web application, there is always a risk of data expiration. However, a risky situation arises when the data subject abandons their session. That’s when data is exposed, and it will be the responsibility of the organization for this breach of cloud data privacy.  


Data Privacy is the right of the owner of the data and cannot be used without authorization. Since the information systems are being attacked by cybercriminals and hackers for illegal reasons, it becomes the prime responsibility of the owner to get a high level of security and update it constantly basis to avoid any irregularities. Laws and regulations are being developed for security reasons, and the same needs to be monitored. 

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