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Everything Should Know About Data Privacy and How To Get Started

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

data information across the screen

This article explores the importance of data privacy, how it relates to data protection, compliance regulations focused on data privacy protection, and what you need to consider when applying a data privacy policy.

What is Data Privacy and how Data Privacy is used?

Data privacy, also known as information privacy, is the handling of data related to a person's identity concerning confidentiality and anonymity. The term is used in various contexts, including computers, the internet, healthcare, and employment. When data privacy is violated, it can have significant consequences for the individual, including loss of control over their personal information and damage to their reputation. Data privacy is an essential issue because it affects everyone who uses technology. Therefore, it is crucial to know how your personal information is being used and what steps you can take to protect it.

Determining the privacy of data helps clarify precisely what needs to be protected. For example, here are some types of information that are generally considered sensitive and authorized by both the public and law enforcement:

1.Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - Data that can be used to identify, contact or locate an individual, or to distinguish one person from another.

2.Personal Health Information (PHI) - Medical history, insurance information, and other personal data collected by healthcare providers that may be linked to a specific individual.

3.Personally Identifiable Financial Information (PIFI) - A person's credit card number, bank details, or other financial-related data.

4.Student Records - An individual's grades, transcripts, class schedules, payment details, and other educational records.

How Data Is Protected And Privacy Regulated?

Data privacy protection and privacy regulation are essential topics in the news lately. There have been many data breaches, and people are worried about their personal information being hacked. Industry research shows that 71% of Americans occasionally or frequently worry about the hacking of personal data (Gallup, 2018). Data privacy protection is the process of protecting personal data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, or destruction. Data privacy regulations govern how data is collected, used, and protected. There are many data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). These data privacy regulations provide guidelines on how data should be collected, used, and protected. Data privacy protection is crucial because it helps to protect people's data from being accessed, used, or disclosed without their consent. Data privacy regulation is important because it helps ensure that data is collected, used, and protected in a legal and ethical way.

Below are US federal privacy laws that prevent companies from inappropriately sharing personal data and the specific types of data they target. Note that many US states are also adopting their mandates.

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) / Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) — Protects personal health information

  • Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) — Limited to financial information

  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) — Protects children’s privacy by allowing parents to control what information is collected

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) — Protects students’ personal information

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) — Governs the collection and use of consumer information

How Are Privacy And Data Protection Related To Each Other?

Data privacy and data protection are closely related concepts. Both involve safeguarding sensitive data from unauthorized access or disclosure. Data privacy concerns how personal data is collected, used and disclosed. On the other hand, data protection focuses on ensuring data security from breaches, cyberattacks, and accidental or intentional data loss. While the two concepts are closely related, they have different implications for businesses and individuals. For example, data privacy laws often restrict how companies can collect and use personal data. On the other hand, data protection laws typically impose obligations on businesses to protect data from unauthorized access or disclosure. As a result, companies need to be aware of data privacy and protection laws to ensure compliance.

In other words, data protection requires implementing policies, controls, and procedures to meet data privacy principles, such as the following listed in the ISO/ISO framework. IEC 29100:

  • Consent and choice

  • Purpose legitimacy and specification

  • Collection limitation

  • Data minimization

  • Use, retention and disclosure limitation

  • Accuracy and quality

  • Openness, transparency and notice

  • Individual participation and access

  • Accountability

  • Information security

  • Privacy compliance

How can you get started with privacy data protection in 2022?

Data privacy protection is an essential issue in today’s world. With the increase in data breaches, it’s more important than ever to protect your data. But where do you start? Simply implementing one or more data security technologies can’t guarantee that you will achieve data privacy. Instead, when building your data privacy protection policies, be sure to follow these best practices:

- Define what personal data you collect and why you need it.

- Give individuals clear and concise notice of what personal data you are collecting and how you will use it.

- Get explicit consent from individuals before collecting, using, or sharing their data.

- Ensure that personal data is collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes.

- Limit the collection of personal data to only what is necessary for the specified purpose.

- Keep personal data accurate and up to date.

- Provide individuals with a way to access their data and make necessary corrections.

- Protect personal data with security measures appropriate to the sensitivity of the data.

- Destroy or de-identify personal data when it is no longer needed and there is no longer a business or legal need.

-By following these best practices, you can ensure that your data privacy protection policies effectively protect your data.


When personal data could be quietly collected and shared is gone. Today, organizations that store and use financial, health and other personal information must handle that data with respect for its privacy. That means being transparent about how the data will be used, getting permission from the person whose data is being collected, and ensuring that the information is adequately protected. At Unifi, we take our responsibility to protect your data seriously. We are committed to safeguarding your privacy and handling your personal information responsibly. Have you ever had a bad experience with a company mishandling your personal information? You can discuss your company's data privacy and protection with us

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