“Data privacy,” “data protection, or “privacy” generally refer to laws regulating the collection, use, storage, and protection of personal information.
“Personal Information” or “personal data” can mean:
- Anything that can identify someone - like a name or social security number;
- Healthcare information
- Financial information
- And more
Whenever an organization holds this kind of information, they need to follow a bunch of rules about what do to, or not do, with that data. It’s complicated!
Different jurisdictions have different privacy laws - BUT, because so much business is online these days - and online means everywhere companies need to be aware of lots of different privacy laws.
Some of the most important are the General Data Protection Regulation - the GDPR - in Europe - and the California Consumer Privacy Act - the CCPA and other state laws (there is no general federal privacy law in the US - yet - only laws that apply to kinds of data - like children’s data and financial data).
Companies will need to follow these laws by engaging in various compliance activities.
This will include things like:
- working with lawyers,
- writing and approving various privacy policies,
- then making sure the company follows those policies.
The earlier you start understanding these laws, the easier it will be to follow them and avoid major headaches.