Data Privacy Regulations

Data privacy regulations protect the personal data of citizens or residents within certain locations.

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What are Data Privacy Regulations?

Data privacy regulations protect the personal data of citizens or residents within certain locations. They afford individuals rights to how businesses use their data and allow them to make decisions about how their data is used after a company collects it. These regulations can exist at the multi-national, national, state, and local levels. 

Typically, data privacy regulations apply to commercial organizations and can dictate how they collect, store, and process personally identifiable information (PII). They can affect businesses operating in a location even if the business is located elsewhere.

The types of personal data that are protected, as well as how long data can be stored and what purposes it can be used for, can vary greatly for each regulation. Non-compliance can lead to different outcomes per guideline but can include warnings, bans on an organization’s ability to process personal data, and fines of up to millions or even billions of dollars.

Examples of Data Privacy Regulations

What is The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

GDPR is a data privacy law that protects the privacy of consumers in the European Union. It includes a list of privacy rights of individuals in the EU and also includes data protection principles that organizations processing personal data must uphold. Examples of protected data under GDPR include names, email addresses, physical addresses, ethnicity, gender, and web cookies.

GDPR principles stipulate several requirements. For example, they require that data is processed following all laws and in a way that’s fair and transparent to the individual. They also require that the purpose of processing the data be specified when it’s collected and that organizations only collect as much data as needed for that purpose. The individual’s data must be kept up-to-date for as long as the business stores it, and the data can’t be kept any longer than needed for the purpose it was collected for. 

GDPR also requires that safety measures are taken when processing data to preserve confidentiality and security, and restricts who within an organization can have access to personal data and who will be responsible for demonstrating compliance. 

What is The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

CCPA protects California residents, even if they’re temporarily not in the state. It gives them rights such as knowing the information a business collects and how the organization will use and share the data. It also gives them the right to delete personal data that a business collects, opt out of their information being sold, and the right to non-discrimination if they decide to exercise any of their rights under CCPA. 

CCPA protects personally identifiable information (PII) as well as information that can be linked to a household such as names, emails, social security numbers, purchase history, online browsing history, geolocation data, and fingerprints. 

Unlike GDPR, CCPA has more specific requirements for the businesses it applies to, such as annual gross revenue, the number of California residents it buys, receives, or sells data from, or how much of the organization’s revenue is from selling residents’ personal data.

What is The Personal Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)?

PIPEDA is one of Canada’s national privacy laws, though the country also has a separate Privacy Act. It applies to all private-sector organizations operating in Canada that conduct commercial activity and handle personal information. 

The act generally protects information such as names, DNA, ages, marital status, race, national or ethnic origin, medical history, education history, employment history, financial information, and identifying numbers like a social insurance number. To comply with PIPEDA, businesses must adhere to 10 principles similar to those under GDPR.

Keep track of evolving international data privacy laws and regulations here.

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