Data Privacy vs Data Protection – How They Protect Your Info

We often use the terms “data protection” and “privacy” as though they mean the same thing. In reality, there is a big difference between the two. Both of these approaches help to keep your personal information safe. But can we tell the difference between them? And is there a choice in data privacy vs data protection? Read on to learn more. 

What Is Data Privacy?

Data privacy

Let’s start out by breaking down what data privacy is in the first place. Data privacy offers guidelines that allow us to understand how to collect and handle data. This allows us to understand the impact of its sensitivity on the nature of handling.

The most common place for this kind of guideline to be used is in the case of information that is very personal, including any information that is related to your health information. Your personal health information can include information such as your medical records and recent medical interventions, whereas personal identification can cover things like your social security number, credit card, birthday, and more. 

The information that is considered under the concerns of data privacy is often taken care of by organizations. This data can be extremely useful and plays a crucial role in business operations. Additionally, information about employees, investors, and customers has a high degree of sensitivity and can impact the growth and financial status of the company.

Because of data privacy regulations, companies can make sure that data of this nature is only available to the right people. This means that no unauthorized users can access this data and subsequently pose cybersecurity threats. At the same time, the data is not vulnerable to human error or security issues such as scams, fraud, identity theft, and other malicious threats. 

Regulations made under this kind of data management system will affect how data is collected, which kind of data is collected, and how the data is then stored, moved, and used. Different countries have different privacy laws to facilitate this process. In fact, the privacy policy may even vary between or within different states of the same country. 

These various privacy standards are designed to align with the work carried out within the industry. They help make regulation reasonably easy, while always prioritizing the rights to privacy for all citizens. It should be noted that there are different kinds of privacy regulations, and being able to comply with one does not mean you are immediately following the requirements of all. In fact, the privacy requirements can consistently change, which makes adhering to such privacy guidelines extremely difficult.

What Is Data Protection?


On the other hand, data protection is a group of strategies that are used, typically by companies, to keep their information safe and available. Data protection is also used to maintain the integrity of data over time. This is a necessary step that offers extra protection over the data that is collected by any company over time. 

If you are working at a company that has something to do with data collection, along with any handling and storing, you will note that there are often protection policies in place that help to keep the data safe. Ultimately these protection tools are essential to keeping the information safe from loss, corruption of the files, or theft of the information by unauthorized individuals. 

Data protection law is essential when it comes to protecting the information in the case of any unwanted event, which can include a breach in security or even a disaster that can impact the integrity of the data, such as an earthquake.

There are specific data protection principles in place at most companies that will keep your data safe and available. These help to mitigate privacy concerns, and allow the companies technical control over the general availability of data. In fact, data protection solutions will cover moves such as regular data backup, recovery options, and assigning roles such as that of the Data Protection Officer. 

When it comes to the professional activities of most companies, they use a data protection strategy along with regulatory requirements in a number of ways. For example, one of the core tenants of a data protection regulation is that the data should be available. This means that the users at the company should be able to go about their daily business even if there are active threats. 

Secondly, there should be a way for the data to move between an online and offline storage option without large-scale manual work. There is also a lifecycle management principle which allows authorized parties to value the data, create a catalog of it, and use multiple sources to protect it. This will help keep the data safe from unauthorized access, malware, and human error.

Data Privacy vs Data Protection

So are these two terms reminiscent of the same thing? The fact of the matter is that true data privacy and data protection are similar and often two sides of the same coin; however, they are not interchangeable terms. In general, data privacy is generally geared toward policies and regulatory compliance. In fact, the primary distinction between privacy and protection is that data protection is all about processes. 

When it comes to data privacy control, the end goal is not to keep out people who don’t have access but rather to make sure that the people with authorized access are using the right tools to interpret, handle, and collect the data in question. Data protection discusses access control, and the general focus here is to avoid giving unlawful access to data that needs protection. 

One other.major distinction between privacy and data protection is the people involved. Data protection law typically impacts companies, whereas privacy guidelines are in the hands of users. For example, you have the privacy rights and ability to choose what you share on Facebook, but it is up to the company to keep the data you share securely. This is why there is comprehensive data privacy law in place that helps to keep a balance between the privacy of data and its collection by companies. 

Data Privacy Practices

As a company, you have a challenging task at hand: creating data privacy rules that can maintain a balance between privacy and sharing. While this is difficult, creating adjustable data privacy policies is not entirely impossible. Here are some recommendations for practices you can undertake to improve consumer privacy. 

Understand Your Data

When creating policies, be mindful of the data you have access to, what practices you currently use, and how you have kept the data safe in the past. This information must be understood, acknowledged, and then expanded upon. The policy should be able to outline what areas need more protection and work at the policy level. You should also create privacy teams that can audit your work and give recommendations for future growth and improvement. 

Don’t Collect More Than You Need

Many companies take a comprehensive approach to data storage and collect everything. In fact, this strategy can overburden your storage systems and lead to a lot of waste. Instead, focus on the data you need to collect. Understand why each byte of data is collected, and what it offers to your company.

Be Transparent With Customers

There are rising concerns when it comes to consumer privacy, and a company that rejects privacy requests will only raise distrust and suspicion. Instead, you should be transparent about the data you collect, how you store it, and what measures you are taking to keep this data safe. 

Data Protection Practices

With new technology comes new threats. There are plenty of options for you to consider when it comes to data protection concerns. Whether you are looking for personal data protection or larger-scale enterprise efforts, there are protection protocols available at every scale. For example: 

  • Data loss prevention strategies help to protect your data in the case of accidental deletion, theft, or damage. These incorporate tools to back up and restore your data.
  • Creating more robust backup solutions helps to keep your data secure. It is a useful strategy to keep backups in different locations, allowing you to access one if the other is destroyed. 
  • Replication systems allow you to create a consistent copy of data from one system to another, which means you will always have an updated copy available if there is a shutdown on your system.
  • The use of firewalls allows you to filter the traffic that enters your network. Firewalls are essential for you to be able to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the data and system. 
  • Encryption is another method used to protect data. The data is encrypted, and then can only be decrypted using a specific key, which no unauthorized user will have access to. 

Final Thoughts

Data privacy and protection are critical concerns for all companies, and there are many measures you can take to ensure your consumers’ data is kept safe. By following the best practices outlined above, you can create a robust data policy that will protect your customers, keep their trust, and boost your bottom line at the same time.

Dale Williams
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