There are at least 128 out of 194 countries that have data privacy laws. Meanwhile, 5 percent of the countries still do not have any law to secure consumers’ data. Why do you need laws to protect data, and why is it essential for businesses to follow?
The Need for Data Privacy Laws
As technology advances, businesses are now embracing digital tools to make operations efficient. Data sharing has become more accessible. It makes it easier for companies to capture and store the personal data of clients. Thus, all the more the need for data governance and protection. What is the standard information secured by businesses from customers? What data do these laws cover? This is some information that needs to be protected:
- Names of customers
- Home Addresses/Office addresses
- Telephone numbers/Mobile numbers
- Birthday information
- Bank details
- Credit Card details
- Medical records
- Transaction details
All this information is vital between a business and a customer. To be able to provide better goods and services, you need to know their personal data. However, leaked confidential information can harm your customers. It can also damage your business.
Here’s why you have to follow data privacy and protection laws:
It’s Under the Law
The specific data privacy laws depend on where your business is operating. Here are some of the countries and regions with implemented data privacy laws:
The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, protects the personal information of all European Union citizens. This covers all businesses and institutions in and out of Europe. With this, software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers need to comply with GPDR even if they’re operating in America as long as they have European clients.
GDPR protects personal information such as names, birthdays, addresses. It also covers social security numbers and other government data. Web information such as IP address and user location is covered. It also protects medical information and biometrics. Companies should not even share their customers’ political beliefs, sexual orientation, racial and/or ethnic information without the person’s consent. Any violation of GDPR provisions comes with hefty fines.
2. The USA
There is no specific federal law yet on data privacy and protection in the United States. However, some states have already legislated their own. California has the California Consumer Privacy Act, which focuses on consumer protection. This legislation protects residents from using their information without their consent. Other states still have pending data privacy and protection bills of their own.
The Personal Information and Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA, also follows the EU’s GPDR framework. It lays down the need to secure the consent of any citizen in collecting and using personal information. This includes name, age, identity information, income, bank and credit records. The act also includes employment information, beliefs, and opinions.
The Brazilian General Data Protection Law sums up all other privacy-related laws. It defines the personal information to protect. It also requires businesses to appoint data protection officers.
5. South Africa
It Can Affect Your Clients
A data privacy breach can lead to cybercrimes like identity theft and fraud. Cybercriminals can use your customers’ identities as proof for transactions. In effect, these criminals can steal vast amounts of money from your clients.
It Can Affect Your Business
Your customers give out this information in good faith. Thus, it is your responsibility to protect them. They share important information with you, knowing that you will protect it at all costs. This builds trust between you and your clients. If this trust is broken and if your clients are harmed because of a data privacy breach, this will damage your reputation as a business. You will lose customers for fear it will put their privacy at risk. You should always focus on consumer’s privacy rights so as not to lose their trust.
You Will Face Heavy Fines if You Don’t Comply
Each law has its corresponding terms and penalties in case of violations. This will cost you thousands of dollars if you do not follow the regulations. Be sure to study the Data Privacy Law in the country where you’re conducting your business to avoid the hassle.
No one is above the law. Big and small businesses alike should follow the law. More than anything, all companies should focus on the rights of their consumers. At the end of the day, your customers should be at the heart of their service.