Except for the GDPR, which covers the entire European Union, most data privacy laws are specific to individual countries. But they share the common goal of protecting the personal information of individuals. These laws aim to regulate the collection, use, storage, and sharing of data by organizations that process such information.
Most data privacy laws also require organizations to obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting or processing their data, provide transparent information on how the data is being used, implement security measures to prevent data breaches, and offer individuals the right to access, correct, and delete their data.
Data privacy laws ensure that individuals have control over their own information and that organizations handling this data do so responsibly and ethically.
Data privacy advocates aim to fundamentally change how systems are constructed, moving away from a reactive approach to data protection and towards a proactive and integrated approach that prioritizes privacy and security from the outset. This involves designing systems and applications in a way that makes privacy an integral part of their functionality, rather than a bolt-on feature that is added after the fact. In other words, data privacy would be woven into the fabric of each field within an application, ensuring that personal data is collected, processed, and shared in a way that respects individuals’ privacy rights.
However, fully realizing the ambitions of data privacy advocates will require a significant investment in time, money, and resources. Many software vendors thus view data privacy as a long-term priority rather than a short-term one. Even with a healthy understanding of how important data privacy is, these companies must balance the cost of implementing these changes against the return on their investment. As a result, there can be a tension between the ambitions of data privacy advocates calling for prompt implementation and software vendors who need to consider their bottom line. Nonetheless, the benefits of a proactive and integrated approach to data privacy are clear, and many organizations are working towards this goal—if at a slower pace than data privacy advocates would like.
This is an excerpt from our white paper “Combining the Law & Technology for Data Privacy”. Download and read the full white paper for free here.