Digitalization in the modern world has made companies, consumers, and even its clients more susceptible to personal and corporate data breaches than ever. The advancement in technology has paved the way for hackers to commit crimes easily, however, this has benefited businesses as well. Most of the companies have incorporated automated data mapping in their systems to comply with their data privacy protections and regulatory compliance. Whereas, there are plenty of data privacy software that have made data privacy systems convenient, robust and efficient.

However, most people still think that data privacy and data security are the same terms. In reality, both these terms are different from each other, although they are used quite interchangeably.

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy means how the personal data of an individual is collected, used, stored, deleted, and flowed through the IT systems. Data privacy is thought to be the fundamental right of the people and it can contain anything from name, location, and contact information to passport number and identity card number of the individual.

Data privacy of the individuals is no longer about the goodwill or reputation of a company, it’s more about complying with the data privacy laws that are regulated in different countries. If a company breaches this law, it may have to face serious legal consequences including hefty penalties.

What is Data Security?

Data security means how a company protects personal data from unauthorized access by a third party or even against malicious attacks and viruses. Companies usually use tools like internal security, user authentication, cyber-attacks, activity monitoring, firewalls, encryption, and network limitations to protect sensitive data from any breach.

Data Privacy vs. Data Security

Both data privacy and security are essential to protect the sensitive and confidential data of the company. Although data security can be implemented without data privacy, data privacy is not possible without data security. We can say that data security is the main pillar of data protection.

While data privacy is more concerned with how personal data is handled and stored, data security is related to protecting that data against any unauthorized access.

For instance, if you sign up on Facebook, you are asked for some personal information in order to create your account. Even before signing up, you are required to allow access to your photos, videos, and contact information for downloading the app. The way Facebook protects your personal data is data privacy. Whereas, the password you set for your account can be one of the methods of data security.

Companies are required to undertake a risk assessment on a regular basis to identify and adapt their security measures according to the likelihood and impact of risk. Obviously, there’s always a risk of a security breach, and it would be unrealistic to say that a company doesn’t carry any data security risk at all. Most companies take a risk-based approach and mitigate risks accordingly.

On the other hand, companies draft their internal and external data privacy policies to ensure every employee in the company is well aware of the policies as well as the clients, shareholders, and customers. They also need to adhere to data privacy legislation that gives a sense of protection to the customers too.

Data Privacy Legislation

GDPR: This data privacy legislation is applicable to all EU citizens and the companies that trade with them even if they are outside the EU.

CCPA: This law is applicable to the residents of California and they hold the right to get their data deleted on request.

National Data Protection Law: Other countries like Japan, the UK, Brazil, Singapore, Canada, and Australia also have data privacy legislation in place.

Ensuring data privacy and data security requires the specialized skills of a top managed service provider, who can navigate the complexities of both.