Evaluating Data Privacy vs. Data Security: Distinctions, Connections, and Consequences

Evaluating Data Privacy vs. Data Security: Distinctions, Connections, and Consequences

Both data privacy and data security are important considerations for nurturing customer loyalty and maintaining regulatory compliance.

According to Cisco’s 2022 Consumer Privacy Survey, 76% of surveyed consumers said they would not buy from a business they do not trust with their data. Moreover, 81% said they think how a company treats private personal information strongly indicates how it views and respects customers. There is no contest between data privacy vs. data security, both are essential to winning consumers’ trust and loyalty. Let’s take a closer look.

Data Privacy vs. Data Security

Consumers value both data privacy and security and are willing to act when either or both are at risk of compromise. Consider the findings in Cisco’s report:

  • 82% of respondents said they are willing to spend money and time to guard their data.
  • 89% said they want more control over their data.
  • 82% said data security is a ‘buying factor’ for them.
  • 82% said they expect to pay more for data security.
  • 44% reported switching companies based on data privacy policies or data sharing rules.

Data security and privacy are naturally connected in consumers’ eyes. However, they remain separate concepts that are not interchangeable.

Data Privacy

Data privacy focuses on how data is collected, used, and shared. However, no data can be kept private without a solid data security foundation.

Consumer privacy laws give users the right to determine the extent to which companies use and share their personal data. It also guarantees them the right to be forgotten by permanently deleting their user data.

The consequences of neglecting data privacy are serious. Companies worldwide must ensure that they collect and use data in compliance with all federal or state-level regulations. Multinational companies need to be particularly diligent when maintaining privacy compliance across different jurisdictions. Noncompliance with privacy laws puts companies at risk of steep fines, financial damage from customer losses, and operational downtime.

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Data Security

In contrast to data privacy, data security focuses on keeping confidential information safe. Companies should remain alert to external and internal threats, including:

  • Malicious attacks intended to exploit sensitive data.
  • Cyberthreats like viruses and spyware.
  • Inadvertent misuse because of negligence or insufficient safety protocols.

While data privacy is legally defined by government regulations and applicable laws, data security is mainly a company’s responsibility. Playing loose with data security puts companies at risk of losing valuable and sensitive data assets.

Keeping Data Private and Safe

A comprehensive data security policy covers three key areas:

  1. People with access
  2. Processes for monitoring security and responding to threats
  3. Technological solutions that ensure data is secure and protected

Let’s examine each one individually in greater detail.

Authorized Access

Businesses must control who has access as well as what data they are allowed to access. Thus, all data assets should be organized and categorized with this end in mind. Sensitive data should only be accessible to authorized users to avoid inadvertent misuse—or worse, theft. Sensitive information includes:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII)
  • Genetic or biometric data
  • Health or medical records
  • Education records
  • Social security numbers
  • Employee files
  • Private business information

To control access to private information, company leaders can apply folder-based permissions according to team structures, roles, or departments. This protocol ensures that all users only access what is necessary. Accountability and transparency should also be embedded into access and usage throughout the entire data lifetime to ensure compliance with privacy laws.

Data Security Processes

Aside from identifying sensitive data and controlling access, companies must pay attention to the following data security processes:

  • Managing user permissions by geography, role, brand, or department.
  • Internal auditing of data assets.
  • Tracking and reporting of user activities.
  • Establishing security safeguards.
  • Updating data policies according to regulatory requirements.
  • Creating a data emergency plan.

Implementing these security processes is much more feasible when data is stored in a singular location. This approach centralizes end-to-end data governance and management, making it easy for data administrators to identify and respond to threats quickly.

Data Security Solutions

While data should be protected, it is also meant to be used. Therefore, companies need data security solutions that empower teams to leverage data while keeping it private and safe.

  • Cloud-based solutions make it easy for companies to manage large volumes of customer data without requiring multiple or siloed on-premise storage solutions.
  • Privacy-compliant solutions enable teams to execute global campaigns and marketing actions while protecting privacy requirements.
  • Flexible security solutions scale up or down according to a business’ audience size and needs.

In summary, companies do not need to choose between data privacy vs. data security. Both are important to earning consumers’ trust and maintaining compliance with privacy regulations. To ensure data privacy and security, companies should manage data access, establish security processes, and find the right technological solutions to maintain compliance while maximizing the company’s data potential.

Keep Data Private and Safe With Treasure Data CDP

Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud provides companies with the highest level of data privacy and data security around the world. Our enterprise customer data platform  empowers users to manage data privacy and compliance easily.

Use Customer Data Cloud to:

  • Collect and centralize customer data from all sources in one powerful platform
  • Unify customer profiles using online + offline data
  • Keep customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) safe
  • Automate workflows for DSARs and privacy requests
  • Keep global teams privacy-regulation compliant
  • Manage permissions by region, organization, role, and more
  • Integrate with authentication services for secure identification
  • Create premium audit logs for monitoring activity
  • And more

To discover how you can use Treasure Data’s customer data platform to apply data privacy principles, download our white paper today. Want to learn more? Request a demo, call 1.866.899.5386, or contact us for more information.  

Building Trust Beyond Compliance

Jim Skeffington
Jim Skeffington
Jim Skeffington is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Treasure Data. He has years of experience working with data, including as a financial analyst, data architect, and statistician. Recently, he was recognized by the Royal Statistical Society for his thought leadership in the fields of statistics, data science, and data research. He is also proud to serve as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
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