Feb 20

Data Privacy vs. Data Protection

On an almost daily basis there is a data breach that exposes some form of highly sensitive data. This information can encompass credit card numbers, passwords, email address, health records and social security numbers.

The consequences of a data breach for an organization or business are generally monetary and reputational loss. Whereas for the individual it can include financial fraud, identity theft, and physical harm or intimidation.

Unfortunately, even with the greater publicity and frequency of data breaches many people do not fully understand the distinction between data privacy vs. data protection.

Data Privacy vs. Data Protection

Data privacy pertains to the legal regulations that govern how your data can be shared and used by those who collect it.

Data protection is the technical mechanisms in which your data is secured and stored. Data protection is the responsibility of the organization/business you have agreed to share your information with to safeguard it from hackers and other malicious individuals.

Although data privacy and data protection are interlinked one cannot ensure the other. For example, if your personal data is stolen than its privacy is no longer promised. If your data is properly protected it may not necessarily be private. Whenever you allow a service provider, business or organization to access your personal information you are trusting them to honor your privacy and not misuse it. This trust does not safeguard you from the possibility that an authorized user could exploit your confidential data for their benefit.

Governments across the globe are increasingly legislating data privacy laws that mandate proactive security protocols, often with harsh consequences for those who fail to comply. Individuals should also be aware of certain measures they can take to safeguard their sensitive information.

As technology advances so will the issues around data privacy and data protection. We hope that this post has simplified the differences between data privacy and data protection.