Ensuring Data Privacy Compliance: Build Trust and Avoid Fines

Ensuring Data Privacy Compliance: Build Trust and Avoid Fines

Ensuring Data Privacy Compliance: Build Trust and Avoid Fines


According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 137 out of 194 countries now have legislation in place to protect data and privacy. As consumer activity continues to increase online, ensuring data privacy compliance is non-negotiable for companies and organizations. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important and how companies can maintain compliance.

Data Privacy Compliance

Data privacy compliance means fulfilling regulatory conditions and upholding organizational policies that govern how data is collected, processed, and maintained. Regardless of industry, organizations must meet regulatory and legal requirements for obtaining and using customer data. Neglecting data privacy compliance risks serious negative consequences.

Heavy Fines

Regulatory authorities like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Commission (EC) aim to make non-compliance a painful mistake. Consider the following fines:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) violations. Fines can reach up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual revenue from the previous financial year, whichever is higher.
  • US Privacy Act criminal penalties. Proven misdemeanors can earn offenders fines of up to $5,000.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) fines. For each proven violation, offenders pay up to $2,500. The fines increase to $7,500 for each proven willful violation.

Damaged Reputation

Walking away unscathed from a publicized data breach is an unrealistic scenario for any company, least of all for prominent brands and market players. Although it takes a great deal of time and resources to establish a brand in a competitive industry, a single moment of neglect or indiscretion can ruin a good reputation built by decades of upholding customer data privacy. Some organizations may eventually earn consumer trust after such a breach, but the odds are not in their favor.

Financial Setbacks

In addition to hefty fines, organizations guilty of non-compliance with data privacy laws often face financial setbacks in other forms. Examples include losing existing and potential customers who are unwilling to risk their personal data. Data privacy and security incidents also plant doubts in the minds of investors who may otherwise be willing to partner with a company.
After suffering a data breach, a company also needs to deal with operational downtime. Containing damage and recovering confidential information consumes time, talent, and resources that could have otherwise been spent on regular business operations.

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Steps to Data Privacy Compliance

Organizations can ensure data privacy compliance by following these steps:

1. Prioritize Data Security

The first step to data privacy compliance is to confirm all data is secure. Protecting data against both external and internal attacks requires putting safeguards in place. Consider the following data security techniques:

  • Data encryption protects data by translating it into a coded format that unauthorized users cannot access. Only personnel with a decryption key can unlock and access protected data.
  • Data masking conceals sensitive data by presenting a similar but falsified copy of protected data.
  • Permanent deletion renders all confidential files beyond the reach of hackers and malicious users through complete and documented destruction of all file copies.

These data security techniques can help guard data from theft, malicious use, disclosure, and exploitation. Once data is secure, organizations can proceed to regulate internal usage.

2. Implement End-to-End Governance

Governance determines how data is made available and used within an organization’s systems.
The continuing increase (and often expansion) in data privacy laws requires companies to be vigilant about detecting and correcting any loopholes that could compromise data privacy. That’s why implementing end-to-end governance is the best approach to maintaining data privacy compliance.

Companies can formulate and enforce policies from the point of data collection to usage to sharing with third parties. It’s important that policies specify what kind of marketing actions can and can not be taken with consumer data. Lastly, setting safeguards like accountability, policy violation reminders, and reporting can also help prevent non-compliant use of sensitive data. 

3. Manage Consent

Consent management is a nearly universal component of data privacy laws around the world. Organizations that collect and use customers’ data need to obtain consent, either through user action (e.g., clicking a button or checking a box)  or implication (e.g., continued website use implies user consent).

Some privacy laws require specific documentation of users’ consent while others are more flexible. Multinational companies in particular must have the technology and capability to maintain compliance in different jurisdictions regarding consent management.

In summary, data privacy compliance is a non-negotiable legal obligation for companies competing in increasingly digitized markets. Failure to comply with data privacy laws puts organizations at risk of heavy fines, damaged reputations, and financial setbacks. Companies can maintain compliance by prioritizing data security, implementing end-to-end governance, and managing consent across different jurisdictions.

Maintain Data Privacy Compliance With Treasure Data

Treasure Data is compliant with the latest regulations and meets the requirements for the strictest Chief Information Security Officers. We continually build on a strong data security foundation to keep your data private and safe.

A graphic showing Treasure Data’s security certifications
Figure 1. Treasure Data’s security certifications

Treasure Data helps you maintain data privacy compliance with all global, national, and industry-specific regulations. Our Trust for CDP solution gives teams the power to manage all data security, governance, and privacy settings within a single smart platform.

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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