Data Privacy : The bedrock of responsible corporate citizenship

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Rapid digitalisation has turned data into an extremely critical commodity. Organisations have started to collect and process vast amounts of data, which has necessitated the implementation of robust data security and privacy practices. Although used interchangeably, data security and data privacy are not the same. Data privacy goes a step beyond data security.

Data Security Vs Data Privacy
While data security is about protecting data from malicious threats, privacy is all about using that data responsibly.

Data security uses technologies and concepts such as firewalls, user authentication, and access management, along with internal security practices to prevent unauthorised access to data.

However, data privacy is more concerned with how an organization stores, processes or transmits data, and whether these practices are compliant with privacy laws and regulations. Hence, we can say that data security focuses on policy enforcement to protect data, while privacy reflects on the responsible usage of data.

Why should businesses care about privacy?
It enables them to meet compliance requirements – Data privacy is the branch of data management that deals with handling personal data in compliance with data protection laws and regulations. Hence, it ensures the ‘ethical’ and ‘just’ usage of data, thereby enabling organisations to meet their compliance mandate.

It prevents financial losses – As per the Ponemon study commissioned by Centrify, 65% of those surveyed said that data breaches make them lose trust in the organisation that has been the victim of such attacks.

Additionally, one in four individuals confessed to taking their business somewhere else after a breach. If organisations fail to make privacy their priority, they can suffer financial losses and reputation damage through lawsuits and other legal issues.

To maintain and improve brand value – As per a Forbes Insights report, 46% of the total organisations surveyed confessed to having suffered damage to their reputation and brand value as a result of a privacy breach.

Organisations that make protecting the privacy of their customer one of their primary goals, and strive to achieve it with transparent and stringent privacy practices not only build emotional connections with their customers but also enhance their brand value and loyalty.

The way forward for data privacy…
The data privacy landscape, India and abroad, is going through a tectonic shift. Earlier, the customer was largely unaware of the way their data was being stored and utilised.

However, now they are digitally more connected, and are mindful of their ‘Rights to Privacy’. According to Cisco’s consumer privacy survey, consumers want more transparency from companies about how their personal data is being used. 

In this scenario, businesses need to evolve and start thinking of ways they can build trust and loyalty in their customers. One way to achieve this is by being transparent and communicative about the way they are utilising their customers’ data. They need to think about providing their customers with verifiable solutions, traceability, and transparency.

Additionally, they need to think of ways to balance upholding privacy concerns without annoying users with privacy notifications and too many restrictions.

(This article is written by Neelesh Kripalani, CTO of Clover Infotech.)

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