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All You Need to Know: Data Privacy vs. Data Protection

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Data privacy and data protection are long-time and inseparable pals in cybersecurity. Both components are crucial to the safety of customers and companies’ business continuity. Neither companies nor customers can do without the privacy and protection of data.

As important as these elements are, most people still interchange them carelessly. Some even think they are the same. Therefore, this blog post will outline the differences between data privacy vs. data protection.

What is Data Privacy and Data Protection?

Data privacy is a statement that outlines how a customer’s data will be collected, used, stored, or shared. It also indicates the conditions for deleting such a customer’s data. These data include sensitive information like name, age, location, credit card details, birthdate, medical records, etc.

On the other hand, data protection secures user data from harm, loss, threat, damage, or compromise. Companies use data protection to ensure that data privacy is fulfilled as promised.

The Differences between Data Privacy and Data Protection

Though data privacy and protection are related, they gear toward different responsibilities. Therefore, we shall outline them here one after the other.

1. One doesn’t Guarantee the Other

Privacy does not automatically mean protection. On the contrary, having stronghold of data protection does not assure your customers’ privacy. This implies that your company has to ensure that both privacy and protection are properly managed and done individually.

Remember that giving your customers an idea of what you do with their data does not mean that hackers will not try to infiltrate your database. In the same vein, establishing protocols or investing in protection technologies does not necessarily mean that you will not misuse your customer data. For instance, having a firewall does not prevent you from sharing your customer illegally.

2. Companies control Protection, and Customers control Privacy

Even though companies are in the position to prepare a privacy policy, customers have the power to either accept its stipulations or not. This means that customers are in control of choosing to share their data. Also, they have the power to give a company the right to do with their data what it plans.

Companies are saddled with the responsibility of protecting customers’ data. This is not in any way the role of the customers. If customers have to guard their data or privacy, they can only minimize the information they share. On the other hand, they could also turn a few privacy options on and off.

Despite this, companies must see that they maintain tight security for the data they collect from their customers. The company’s role is to collect user data, hire a DPO (Data Protection Officer), encrypt data, use password managers, and every other tool that can deny cybercriminals access to user data.

3. Privacy Provisions dictate Protection Needs

Having established what we have in the previous point, we must touch on the fact that privacy provisions dictate protection needs. Data privacy and protection are essential, but one must precede the other. That is, privacy must come before protection.

Imagine planning to leave America for an Asian vacation. Of course, you wouldn’t think of the cost or clothes to take along first. Instead, you must decide where to visit before calculating the cost and what kind of clothing to take along, depending on the weather there.

The same goes for privacy and protection. Your company must first determine what kind of data it will collect, how to use it, who to share it with, how to store it, etc. These elements will help it determine what data protection measures to implement.

4. Privacy and Protection have different Functions

The roles of data privacy and protection can be interwoven, but they are not the same. Privacy is one of the ways to comply with data regulatory laws. Consequently, it saves a company from the penalties of non-compliance.

On the other hand, data protection handles everything related to safety, the mechanisms for safety, and preventing unauthorized users from accessing, using, sharing, and selling customer data. In summary, data privacy focuses on policies while protection focuses on mechanisms.

It does not seem as though the rate at which data intrusion, hacking, and the likes will lessen. Therefore, companies ensure that they make provisions for the privacy and protection of their customers’ data.

These two must work together effectively to produce maximum results. However, as your company combines these two, it must understand that though data privacy and protection are linked, their responsibilities differ.

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