Data Privacy Laws: What Businesses Need to Know in 2021

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All businesses want their data to be kept as safe as possible. Unfortunately, in today’s era of cybercrime, governments need to regulate data privacy in a strong manner to keep businesses secure.

Here is what businesses need to know in 2021 about data privacy laws and how they apply.

About Data Privacy Laws

Most countries have their own laws about how personal and business data should be handled. They specifically regulate data collection, information of collection, and the choice of users of whether they want their data collected by websites.

If a website or business does not follow the laws applicable in their respective jurisdictions, they can receive fines, or even worse, lawsuits or bans from operating there.

Yet, in the United States, there are no omnibus federal laws that regulate the collection and transfer of users’ personal data online. Instead, the laws vary from state to state, which can cause great confusion and inefficiencies for companies operating across the country.

However, the Federal Trade Commission does have some power to protect data privacy using other implied powers.

Under the scope of preventing deceptive trade practices, the FTC can penalize businesses that fail to institute data security practices and who do not adhere to their own written privacy policies.

There are other federal laws that apply on the perimeter of data security, touching on specific fields of practice such as medicine and finance.

For example, to follow one of these laws, your business needs to implement HIPAA compliant document sharing to protect the medical data privacy of clients and patients.

Data Breach Notifications

In the unfortunate occurrence of a data breach, your business is required to immediately let the National Data Protection Authority know.

Failure to do so might result in both penalties from the government and more harm to the data that was hacked.

International Law: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

While most countries of the world have their own local or national data privacy laws, the de facto standard is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted by the European Union.

This law is in effect for any entity doing business in the European Union with any EU citizens, regardless of where the entity is based.

It sets some simple data privacy standards, including consent for data collection and a specific bill of online rights of users that websites must follow.

If they do not adhere to these rules in the European Union, they can be heavily fined based on their global revenues.

Importance of Privacy Policies

Privacy policies are extremely important not only because they are required by most regulations, but they provide some transparency to users on what data gets collected from them.

Privacy laws in the United States and European Union mandate that users be able to consent to the privacy policies set forth by the website. Moreover, they need to be able to decline their personal data being collected and stored.

Data privacy has become extremely important in today’s information age, and it is important for your business to comply with all government regulations.

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