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What Are Privacy Laws, and Should Startup Companies Be More Aware of Them?

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As the law becomes more powerful, some businesses tend to get caught up in not complying with new data privacy regulations, despite the many changes that have been made since the creation of the GDPR.

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Privacy laws are continuously changing because of many factors; some of them are because of the rise in online attacks and the misuse of sensitive data from organizations. After all, people want complete control of the information you store about them. When they don’t, things can turn ugly quickly.

Well, let’s not take longer because, in this article, we will discuss in depth what privacy laws are and why companies should pay more attention to them.

What are privacy laws?

Privacy laws are the body of law that stores, regulates, and uses sensitive information, including personal healthcare and financial information, which government bodies can collect, organizations, or even individuals.

Since the creation of global data privacy regulators such as the GDPR and CCPA, data privacy laws have played a major role in organizations’ operations. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t quite know much about the differences between the GDPR and CCPA. However, if you are struggling with the same issue, this guide on Osano.com offers plenty of useful information on GDPR vs. CCPA. After all, it’s better to know the differences than to be confused about which privacy regulator counts for your organization!

Why do privacy laws matter?

Why do privacy laws matter Data Protection

Ask yourself what the primary purpose of your start-up is? Maybe you’ve found a cost-effective method of producing a new product for your customer. Or, perhaps you’ve created a new application you want people to use or even a new website that draws a large amount of traffic to your site.

Whatever answer you may have to this question, it’s always important to comply with privacy policies. Businesses that engage with the processing of personal data need to always think of the legal implications involved in it. Also, let’s not forget that almost every business is engaged in processing business data.

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Privacy laws care about data privacy protection

Avoiding protecting personal data puts your company’s reputation at risk and all of your customers. Especially after the creation of the GDPR, consumers can now have complete control over how their personal information is used and collected by the government.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the first data privacy policy built in the United States. Initially created in California, the CCPA protects all customers who operate within Californian boundaries or has a global revenue of more than $25 million, collecting data from almost 100,000 people. Households that earn more than 50% of revenue from data sales under the CCPA are required to do the following:

  • Notify users if their data is being shared or even sold to third-party organizations
  • Grant users complete control and the ability to correct their collected and stored information. Allow users to choose if their data needs to be updated or deleted.
  • Explain the type of data that is being collected and what can be done with that type of data
  • Allow users to limit how often they are contacted by your organization or even third parties

You may be asking who does the CCPA cover? Well, it’s specifically for all businesses that operate within Californian borders, or it can even count for a company located in Europe but within Californian borders.

However, remember that each country has its own data privacy laws. For example, the GDPR is a data privacy regulator that accounts for the European Union. However, at the end of the day, you still need to comply with your local data privacy regulator.

What are data privacy requirements implemented as your company grows?

As an organization grows, there are a few important things it should consider, such as:

  • All processes concerning data protection have to be well structured and documented. You can always consider hiring a DPO to assist you.
  • Data protection appointments can either be regulated by an external specialist or an internal employee.
  • All organizations must protect personal data and comply with data privacy regulations. The same case goes for all of the data that applicants reject.

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The purpose of privacy laws

Almost all businesses have to gather large amounts of data privacy laws are excellent in fulfilling several purposes, and some of them are:

  • Limiting the amount of personal data a business can collect
  • Restricting ways on how businesses can store and share your data
  • Setting rules on how your business can communicate with customers

Nevertheless, this means that privacy law is associated with the following business activities:

  • Direct marketing
  • Research marketing
  • Data collection applications
  • Personalized ads

Build your privacy road map

Build your privacy road map Data Protection

Whenever you begin a startup, there are plenty of maps available such as product maps, marketing maps, and more. However, never forget about your privacy map. Here are the following steps you should follow for setting it up:

Step 1: Build it in

Creating your data privacy program might not be so easy. Still, it’s much more affordable and easy to do at the beginning of infrastructure compared to putting it in an existing system.

This is where startups usually have the biggest advantage and help you comply with the latest industry practices and regulations to ensure your system consistently complies with data privacy updates. Of course, you can always hire a Fractional Privacy Officer (FPO) who can advise you on which steps to take next.

Step 2: Know your work

You can’t be able to protect your users if you don’t know where and why you stored the data. Therefore, it can be beneficial for you to do a data mapping exercise where you follow data records through your system.

By following these practices, you’ll know if you’re collecting the correct data or not, if the right people have access to this data, and whom you are sharing the data with. Also, remember that you always need to be aware of which data privacy laws apply to your business.

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Step 3: Act successful before you become

After you are aware of what your privacy laws apply to and how you interact with your customer’s information, you can start setting up the following:

  • Set up a least privilege model: A least privilege model will grant employees a minimum amount of data to accomplish tasks. However, those employees have more privilege in checking data. Therefore, this method effectively reduces unintentional exposure and any chance of internal data breaches.
  • Password policies: Strong passwords are what can get you out of trouble. Also, they are usually changed frequently to prevent any breaches and exposure to external threats. Nevertheless, you can consider including two-factor authentication for the login process.
  • Provide internal training: Internal breaches can occur at any time, but something important to consider is to teach your team how they can avoid any external threats. After all, it only takes one bad click to expose sensitive information.
  • Always update your software: If you don’t update the software protecting you against online breaches, you are putting your company and all of the stored data at risk.
  • Encrypt your data: Your stored data is always at risk, so make sure to encrypt it at all times.

Step 4: Never sell data without the customer’s approval

There are too many organizations selling private data without even informing customers, but this has changed most recently due to the increased regulations imposed by the GDPR and other privacy regulators.

There are hefty fines you will need to pay if you don’t follow these rules. Considering this, maybe in the future, organizations might completely get banned from selling consumer data to their partners. As for reference, Google is considering phasing out third-party cookies in late 2023!

What kind of opportunities does your startup receive from data privacy laws?

As we mentioned, failing to comply with data privacy only risks your company. If you are highly concerned about data privacy laws from the beginning of your startup, you’ll have the following advantages:

  • A good data privacy law can be used as a backup argument. If your hands are clean, you don’t have to worry about any violations.
  • Good data privacy laws promote trust and even contribute to a revenue increase.
  • Data privacy can sometimes be a delay and obstacle for investors.

Wrapping everything up

That’s all about privacy laws and their importance to your business. Data privacy regulators are becoming more concerned about the control customers have over their data, so it’s vital for you to always stay updated with any changes made.

We know that the online world is becoming crowded with new users each month, which also opens new doors for online attackers to come in. The best thing you can do is to ensure security for your consumer and their data.

About the author:

Tony Ademi

Tony Ademi is a freelance SEO content and copywriter. He has been in the writing industry for three years and has managed to write hundreds of SEO-optimized articles. Moreover, he has written articles that have ranked #1 on Google. Tony’s primary concern when writing an article is to do extensive research and ensure that the reader is engaged until the end.

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