Data & Insight

Privacy and Protection

This week, we're dissect data privacy laws to arm you with clarity: understanding their scope, recognizing who's at risk, and discovering how you can best protect your customers and business.
No items found.

5 Minutes of Fresh Perspective

Reading the daily news doesn't have to suck. Get the email that will make you laugh and keep you informed...for free!
Privacy and Protection

In today's digital world, one wrong move can put your business in some serious hot water. In light of progressively intensified data privacy laws, a single regulatory misstep, data breach, or legal challenge could jeopardize your organization's entire future.

What are Data Privacy Laws and Why Should I Care?

The significance of data privacy laws cannot be overstated. Just one mis-step could jeopardize your entire operation.

These laws are essentially the rulebook for how personal information should be handled, safeguarding against the misuse that’s become all too common in our digital world. 

The Need for Data Privacy Laws

You, me, and practically everyone else hand over chunks of personal data – from financial details to health records – to companies on the daily. This information is gold for identity thieves and should be guarded as such. But, often, people are cluelessly signing over these treasures without knowing how companies plan to use, store, or potentially share them, and this lack of regulation and understanding can place consumers at significant risk.

Data privacy laws set standards for the collection, usage, and storage of sensitive data.

The Treasures Shielded by Data Privacy Laws

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): This is the data that can identify you, either on its own or when combined with other information. It ranges from your name and address to more sensitive details like your biometric records.

Personal Information (PI): A broader category, this includes anything that could be linked back to you, such as your IP address or employment history. Not all PI is PII, but all PII falls under PI.

Sensitive Personal Information (SPI): Highlighted in the California Privacy Rights Act, this includes information like your Social Security number or medical records, which could cause harm if disclosed.


Who Do Data Privacy Laws Apply To?

While there are many well-known standards for data security and privacy - such as the Privacy Act of 1974, HIPPA, GLBA, and COPPA, - these standards only represent a small percentage of the regulations and legislation governing data privacy and security.

The U.S. currently doesn't have any national data privacy laws in place, but at least 15 states have enacted their own:

  • California – California has been the leader in data privacy legislation, enacting more laws than any other state. The following are two key examples: the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), in effect since January 1st, 2020, specifies that residents might ask businesses to disclose the type of information they collect, why they're collecting the information and the source of the data, and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), in effect since January 1st, 2023, amends and builds on CCPA by giving residents the ability to prevent businesses from sharing their personal data, request that personal data inaccuracies be corrected, and prevent companies from using sensitive PII.
  • Colorado – The Colorado Privacy Act, in effect since July 1st, 2023, grants consumers rights to manage their personal data and specifies how businesses must protect personal data.

  • Connecticut – The Connecticut Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring Act has been in effect since July 1st, 2023. It specifies consumer rights related to personal data, online monitoring and data privacy.

  • Delaware – The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act was signed September 11th, 2023, and goes into effect January 1st, 2025. It delineates consumer rights and requirements for the protection of personal data.

  • Florida – The Florida Digital Bill of Rights takes effect on July 1st, 2024, and applies to entities that generate more than $1B in gross revenue and at least 50% of their global annual revenues from the sale of online advertisements.

  • Indiana – The Indiana Consumer Data Protection Act goes into effect January 1st, 2026, and outlines consumer rights and requirements for data protection.

  • Iowa – The Iowa Consumer Data Protection Act was signed into law March 28th, 2023, and takes effect January 1st, 2025. It describes consumer rights and requirements for data protection.

  • Montana – The Montana Consumer Data Privacy Act goes into effect October 1st, 2024, and applies to entities that conduct business in Montana or provide products or services to Montana residents that might use personal data.

  • New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Privacy Act takes effect on January 1st, 2025. It applies to entities that conduct business in New Hampshire or create products or services that target New Hampshire residents.

  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Data Protection Act was signed into law January 16th, 2024, and takes effect on January 15th, 2025. It applies to entities that conduct business in New Jersey or create products or services that target New Jersey residents.

  • Oregon – The Oregon Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect July 1st, 2024. It outlines consumer rights and rules for data protection.

  • Tennessee – The Tennessee Information Protection Act was signed May 11th, 2023, and goes into effect July 1st, 2025. It governs data protection and data breach reporting.

  • Texas – The Texas Data Privacy and Security Act is scheduled to go into effect July 1st, 2024. It describes consumer rights and data protection requirements for businesses.

  • Utah – The Utah Consumer Privacy Act has been in effect since December 31st, 2023. It provides consumer rights and emphasizes data protection assessments and security measures.

  • Virginia – The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act has been in effect since January 1st, 2023. It grants consumers rights to access, correct, delete and post their personal data, mandates that businesses comply with data protection rules, and affects both government and nongovernment organizations that annually process specific quantities of personal data.

Several major U.S cities have also enacted local laws addressing personal data privacy and might also actively enforce state-level legislation on data protection:

Eh, What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

Skimping on data privacy isn’t just risky, it practically invites trouble right to your showroom. Here's what happens when data privacy guidelines are treated more like friendly advice than mandatory rules:

Data Breaches: The digital equivalent of leaving your front door wide open, inviting all sorts of unsavory outcomes: financial woes, tarnished reputations, and legal penalties, just to name a few.

Identity Theft: With enough personal info, a crook can slip into your customers’ personal lives, pilfering everything from their bank accounts to their peace of mind.

Cybercrime Galore: Phishing, ransomware, unauthorized transactions—just a few of the joys that await in a world of lax data security. These digital dastards can drain accounts and decimate businesses.

A Reputation Wrecking Ball: Just one data mishap can smear an organization's good name faster than you can say "breach." Trust, once lost, is incredibly hard to rebuild.


Yikes! Okay, I Get It. How Do I Protect My Business?

In an age when data incidents are commonplace, businesses need to ensure their customers that their data is safe.

Tech Target

Navigating the complex landscape of data privacy requires a multifaceted approach, blending transparency, legal compliance, robust governance, technological vigilance, operational precision, and ethical AI use. Here's a streamlined guide to fortifying consumer trust and ensuring data privacy:

  • Consumer Trust: Achieved through transparency and communication about how data is used and protected. Clear consent agreements, proactive privacy communications, and immediate incident responses are key.
    • Use clear, concise language in consent agreements.
    • Proactively communicate privacy protections to build trust.
    • Offer comprehensive views and easy opt-out options for data use.
  • Law and Regulation Fragmentation: Businesses must navigate a patchwork of laws that vary by location and sector. Doing the right thing and staying ahead of legal changes is crucial.
    • Prepare for and adapt to diverse legal requirements.
    • Allocate resources to understand evolving regulatory landscapes.
  • Data Governance: Essential for managing and protecting data across an organization. Requires investment, clear policies, and collaboration.
    • Establish clear data privacy policies and oversight.
    • Invest in training and technology to support privacy.
  • Technology Disruption: Technology both enables and challenges privacy protection. Prioritize privacy in technology decisions and stay informed about potential risks.
    • Integrate privacy considerations into new technology deployments.
    • Maintain vigilance against new security threats.
  • Data Operations: As data collection grows, so does the need for privacy-centric operations. Design systems with privacy in mind and manage data responsibly.
    • Design new systems with built-in privacy protections.
    • Implement controls and policies for data minimization and secure sharing.
  • AI Adoption: AI has vast potential but comes with privacy risks. Use AI carefully, with a focus on augmenting human decision-making and ensuring fairness.
    • Ensure AI algorithms are transparent and unbiased.
    • Regularly assess AI systems for privacy impacts and ethical considerations.

Check out more!

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.