Do you really know how your personal information is being collected, shared, and used (or misused) on the internet? While there’s a growing awareness that we need to keep our data private – a recent study found 97% of consumers are somewhat or very concerned about protecting their data – many people underestimate how valuable their personal data is.
Yet there’s a reason Facebook, Google, and Amazon have built empires out of what some refer to as the data economy.
A holiday was created in 2008 to commemorate the first legally binding international treaty regarding privacy and data protection (Convention 108, signed in 1981). Called Data Privacy Day in the U.S. and Data Protection Day in the E.U., it’s celebrated every year on January 28 as an annual call-to-action for smarter and more responsible management of personal data.
What is data privacy?
Data privacy concerns the proper handling of data through consent, notice, and regulatory obligations, with transparency on how data is shared with third parties and how data is legally collected and stored.
While personal data can provide businesses with insight into their customer buying habits, it also gives cybercriminals the tools needed to commit identity theft, fraud, and other crimes. Data privacy is also critical to organizations looking to protect their proprietary research and business-critical data.
Data Privacy Day seeks to educate both individuals and companies on the value of controlling who has access, visibility, and control of their data – sharing the skills needed for smarter data protection.
Importance of data privacy
From individuals to companies to managed service providers, data privacy is something that concerns everyone. However, it may be deemed especially important for companies regularly dealing with customer data. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen countless companies lose the trust of their customers after falling victim to data breaches. From Yahoo to Target, each of these companies has experienced devastating backlash from careless mismanagement of personal data, resulting in millions of dollars in damages.
Worse than the financial damage, these companies faced a crippling blow to their reputation and customer trust. And in the wake of these breaches, executives are more frequently being held personally responsible if their data protection strategy is found lacking.
Growing data privacy regulations
During the past few years, new regulatory restrictions have emerged to hold organizations accountable in their collection, handling, and protection of customer data: the two most notable examples being GDPR in the EU and the CCPA in California.
Implemented in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is dedicated to data privacy and protection in the European Union addressing the transfer of personal data outside of the EU and EEA areas. Similarly, the California Consumer Privacy Act – which took effect earlier this month – aims to provide California residents with the right to know which personal data is being collected and sold, and not face discrimination for exercising their privacy rights.
These two landmark regulations have signaled a watershed moment, illustrating a shifting attitude toward data privacy and consumer rights. According to a survey conducted by SAS, 67% of U.S. consumers think the government should do more to protect data privacy.
While new data privacy acts are protecting consumer data in unprecedented ways, individuals and companies should still be proactive in practicing data protection.
Building a #CyberFit strategy for data privacy
Looking to the future, comprehensive cyber protection has emerged as a leading strategy in private data security, helping businesses in their quest to become #CyberFit, which makes them ready to face any modern threat to their data.
Today, practicing effective data privacy is much more complicated than just 10 years ago. To adapt to new privacy challenges, data protection now requires a 360-degree approach. Ensuring data privacy one of the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection identified by Acronis. Also known by the acronym SAPAS, these vectors include the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security of data, applications, and systems.
Designed to address all five of these key vectors, Acronis Cyber Protection Solutions are able to meet the needs of businesses and individuals, as well as the service providers who deliver critical IT solutions to both groups.
Today’s Data Privacy Day / Data Protection Day serves as an opportunity for us to remember the value of data and the right for data transparency. It’s a moment for us to reevaluate how we’ve been collecting, sharing, and using data – and find new, better pathways toward keeping that valuable data from being exploited, misused, or lost.
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.