Major Data Privacy Laws and What They Mean to the IT IndustryOctober 25, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Lydia Iseh
In today’s world, many different companies collect consumer data in some type of way. But over 90% of data collection done in the world in the past two years was without the consent of the consumers involved.
This has sparked a lot of unrest and distrust among customers over the way companies use and access their data, leading to the emergence of data privacy laws governing various regions and countries.
Some of these laws include popular ones like GDPR and CCPA. For companies in the IT industry, these data privacy laws carry a lot of significance in the customer data handling process.
You will find out more about this in this article, as well as the laws IT companies need to fall in line with.
What the data privacy laws mean to the IT industry
Companies in the IT industry collect data in diverse ways because it has become a priority for them and many other companies. It allows them to monitor their consumers; when properly analyzed, data can give them the upper hand over competitors.
IT companies collect data either by asking the customers directly, deploying cookies on websites to track data, digging deep and curating customer data from company records or social media, using email tracking apps or third-party trackers, or buying data from big data companies.
With these many methods of collecting data, it is essential for IT companies to comply with data privacy laws. Why is this? What do the laws mean to the IT industry?
It means avoiding penalties and sanctions
Failing to comply with data privacy laws incurs huge fines, penalties, and even lawsuits that could ruin a business’ reputation.
Not only would the company have to spend a lot of money that could have been avoided, but it also portrays the business as one that does not value its customers’ personal information. Data privacy is a fragment of the U.S. constitution, and thus, its laws are binding on every type of company, including IT companies.
Data privacy laws give consumers a right to privacy, and failure to comply with these laws is synonymous with taking these rights from them. Complying with the laws keeps you from suits, fines, and bans that may slow down or hamper business growth.
It means building customer trust
When companies are open about compliance with data privacy laws and how they handle customer data, it helps to build a level of trust with your customers. They understand that you value their privacy and that you care about ensuring their data stays protected.
Consumers are aware that sometimes IT companies share their data with third-party apps or companies for analysis or to improve company processes, but by complying with data privacy laws, you put them in charge of the type of information they are comfortable with sharing.
What this does, is that it establishes who calls the shots on their personal information, helping them to feel safe enough with you to give you access to some of their data. On the flip side, failure to comply may scare them off sharing any type of info with you.
This is because they believe they don’t think you are being transparent with their data and that they are at risk of being caught up in data breaches that could expose their sensitive data.
It means creating a competent company outlook
People look to IT companies as some of the most sophisticated and proficient gurus when it comes to data security and privacy. It’s not a good look when your consumers find out that the companies they look to keep their data secure and private cannot handle this.
It presents the company as incompetent, unprofessional, and without a firm grip on its data protection measures.
This goes a long way to affecting company reputation and brand name. When IT companies comply with data privacy laws, it helps to reduce the risks of data breaches or data loss caused by unauthorized third parties.
Compliance with data privacy laws shows customers that you obey important rules and regulations from the government about their data, and this helps to create a positive company image.
It means investing in relevant technology for data privacy
IT companies that handle a lot of customer data will need to arm themselves with modern tools and relevant technology that help to stay in line with data privacy. There are major tools such as Osano that help companies like this remain compliant with data privacy laws easily.
Other technologies help in tracking, identifying, and describing the type of data the company has collected over the years to enable them to create a formal data privacy and protection compliance scheme.
This scheme will work excellently for data privacy because it has a thorough and clear knowledge of the entire data resources available to the company. It understands what to do to keep these resources protected, and the company compliant.
These technologies, such as well-established firewalls, help to establish firm control of the entire data perimeter and prevent the unnecessary exposure of customer data.
It means improved efficiency and streamlined processes
Like earlier mentioned, IT companies have so many different ways of collecting data from their consumers. Because of this, it becomes easy to collect data that may not be needed to carry out your services as it relates to the customers.
Collecting such unnecessary data means the company has to weed through a lot of unnecessary information to carry out certain processes. With the data privacy laws, companies are compelled to only gather data that is relevant for company processes to run effectively.
This means that you can cut out the unnecessary info and focus on the data that matters and helps to get the job done. Thus, you can make the most of your time because there is no need to wade through bad or unuseful data, improving your efficiency.
It also means that the company will now start to pay attention to the type of data it collects, and how they collect this data. This is necessary to help you determine if your users or customers are providing you with real or accurate information that is necessary for research and market analysis.
Data privacy laws that IT companies should concern themselves with
There are so many data privacy laws that have come into existence to monitor data mining and collection. Understanding how all these laws work or what is required of you can be a big challenge.
But as a company in the IT industry, you should be familiar with these laws and how they affect your business. Osano’s data privacy guide shares some details about these laws which we will discuss below.
Also known as California Consumer Privacy Act, is one of the most comprehensive and popular data privacy laws to date. It was first signed into law in June 2018, 2018 and took effect in January 2020.
CCPA is a data privacy law that provides necessary and important definitions about individual consumer rights and places specific duties on entities or organizations that collect this data. This law allows IT companies to adopt a customer-centric procedure of data collection.
It is binding for companies that collect information about California residents and ensures that they inform the individual before collecting their data and obtaining their consent.
This is one of the most important data privacy laws to date. It governs entities that collect data in 28 countries of the European Union, and applies to all EU residents, no matter where their data may be collected.
So, if you are collecting data from residents located in any of the members of the EU countries, then you are under this International law.
GDPR means General Data Protection Regulation and it controls data collection, transmission, use, and security. Failure to comply with any of its regulations may lead to the imposition of up to €20 million on organizations.
Major requirements of the GDPR include:
- Data Breach Notification
- Data Subjects’ Rights
US data privacy laws
The United States doesn’t have one comprehensive law that governs the entire data collection process. However, the Federal Trade Commissions Act has jurisdiction over commercial organizations that may be conducting deceptive trade practices.
Although it doesn’t explicitly state what may or may not be included in websites’ privacy policies, it ensures privacy laws are complied with and issues various types of regulations to make sure that consumers are protected.
Under the US data privacy laws, we have a long list of data privacy laws enforced by the federal government including:
Various states’ privacy laws
Outside of the CCPA, there are a few other states that enforce data privacy compliance to ensure their residents’ personal information is well protected. Some of these state privacy laws include:
Data Privacy Laws are important because they help IT companies remain transparent about how they use their consumers’ information, who they share it with, and how they collect it.
Complying with these laws not only helps to improve research and analysis, but it also builds customer trust and a good brand reputation.
Lydia Iseh is a writer with years of experience in writing SEO content that provides value to the reader. As someone who believes in the power of SEO to transform businesses, she enjoys being part of the process that helps websites rank high on search engines.