[Free Guide] How to choose the right privacy management solution for your organization

Data privacy issues

To protect your business and consumers, you must be proactive when building a flexible, effective privacy infrastructure.
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7 min read
March 1, 2022
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Data privacy issues are a primary consideration for organizations of all sizes, across industries. Participating in the digital world and economy involves users from multiple touchpoints and the rapid exchange of sensitive information. Data privacy issues abound when there is a disconnect between privacy policies and actual online practices for handling personal data and confidential information.

What is data privacy?

Data privacy, or information privacy, refers to the best practices of collecting and distributing data on the internet. The process includes fulfilling data privacy expectations across legal and industry regulations to ensure that the given information remains accessible only to authorized parties for a specific purpose. 

A well-established data privacy system determines how you collect, share, and apply sensitive online information. Governing bodies and cybersecurity experts have developed and updated data privacy laws to provide the best practices that can help users and organizations prevent third-party infiltration of their database networks.  

Common data privacy issues

The most common privacy issues in business include:

  • Keeping pace with changing data privacy regulations — As countries, states, and provinces across the world grapple with protecting individual privacy rights, they create a constantly evolving landscape of data privacy laws, all with various levels of protection and nuances for local citizens. This creates complexity for in-house legal teams tasked with minimizing risk and ensuring compliance across jurisdictions. 
  • Unauthorized devices — The rise of home/hybrid offices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) arrangements may include unprotected user endpoints that compromise your organizational data privacy plans.  
  • Lack of a clear data privacy standard operating procedure (SOP) — A data privacy software purchase is one part of a comprehensive privacy program and protection strategy. Combining software solutions with a reliable SOP ensures that data remains reviewed, updated, and safeguarded at all times. 
  • Inadequate data privacy practices — An inefficient data privacy system can result in infrastructure vulnerabilities exploited by malicious actors. A scalable and comprehensive privacy plan accounts for all users and permissions, technology levels, and data volume. 

Unprotected location data — Malicious parties can identify employee location data and infiltrate the information to reveal trade secrets and organizational practices.

Data privacy laws

It is important to note that there isn't a universal data privacy standard that applies to every organization. Data privacy standards are fragmented across country, state, and industry lines. Decision-makers should consider going beyond the legal parameters of data privacy laws based on their industry and company needs. For example, an insurance company dealing with a high volume of personally identifiable information (PII) should implement additional encryption practices, third-party risk management, and cyber security risk assessments. 

The most widely known data privacy laws include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), practiced in the US. Failing to abide by your respective privacy laws and consumer data protection acts can result in stern warnings, costly penalties, and even legal proceedings, along with the revoking of operational licenses. 

There are various types of data regulation laws, each protecting a specific end-user or group. Your company should ensure strict compliance with each data privacy law relevant to your managed data type, industry, and location. Meeting the latest guidelines of these laws can help optimize consumer data privacy. 

Technology and privacy

Privacy issues on the internet have increased with the mobile accessibility of the web. Studies show that 60% of internet users access the net through mobile devices. It is essential for your company to recognize the data issues on the internet associated with increased connectivity and to implement the best privacy practices for various online traffic.

Examples of privacy issues in technology

Advanced online technology presents privacy issues that require careful consideration for optimal data management. 

1. NPPI considerations 

For instance, signing up for an online platform usually requires the submission of non-public personal information (NPPI), like a person’s marital status and political affiliations, submitted via an online form. In such cases, your data privacy practices should account for NPPI management processes. 

While users freely disclose their NPPIs to a trusted site, only specified parties should have the authorization to interact with the data. You should ensure that your system has the necessary safeguards and privacy policy disclosures that clearly inform online users about the collected data. The notification should include the purpose of data collection and the duration of storage. 

2. Data sharing concerns 

Your team should always disclose data-sharing practices with third-party vendors or collaborators. Failing to do so can result in the violation of privacy rights, heavy fines, and legal claims that cause reputational harm. 

3. Ever-growing data volume

The rapidly expanding amount of confidential data makes it increasingly difficult to monitor data privacy issues throughout complex modern networks. Your organization needs a programmatic privacy solution that scales with your database needs. 

4. Complex access permissions and control 

Similarly, an increase in data requires more complex permission and control management practices across various on-premise and remote endpoints. These practices have become more challenging with cloud-based computing. 

Traditional workplace networks might lack the necessary tools to maintain data visibility in a cloud environment. A lack of a proper cloud-supported data privacy infrastructure could lead to governance and compliance issues. In these instances, teams cannot effectively oversee permissions and controls, increasing the risks of unauthorized access and database breaches. 

Privacy in social media

Social media involves a large volume of data constantly exchanged through shared files and multimedia content. Internet users spend a daily average of 147 minutes on social media. The widespread use of online networking platforms might cause users to overlook the threats to privacy in social media, which comes with any form of data sharing. 

You can stay prepared against potential social media risks by keeping up with the latest data privacy news and trends. These include following up with policy updates, data leak warnings, and patch fixes to safeguard your account against potential privacy risks. For instance, learning about the lack of 2FA protection for unverified/unpaid Twitter users can help you optimize your social media data privacy practices. Your team can choose to deactivate the account or seek a third-party authenticator to maintain 2FA measures without delay.

Questions about privacy on social media

Consider working with your cybersecurity team in answering the following questions to fine-tune privacy in social media best practices:

  1. Are there any privacy-setting loopholes? While social media providers constantly update their data privacy settings, it helps to pay careful attention before posting or sharing any sensitive information. 

  1. Are location settings secure? The registered location of your social media account can provide malicious actors with a clearer idea of your online profile for an organized network attack. It is critical to use a platform that fully acknowledges and adheres to your location settings.

How is provided data used? Social media platforms rely on user information for customizing and optimizing the user experience. However, it is important to note the consequences of sharing your data before giving the go-ahead.

Solutions to privacy issues

The search for solutions to privacy issues is an ongoing journey as the rules and practices of the online world continue to evolve. Regardless of the shifting policies of data privacy, transparency remains the cornerstone. A detailed understanding of how personal data flows through online channels and clearly requesting user permissions ensure the best privacy practices at all times. 

How to solve data privacy issues?

Adopting the right data privacy platform is a good start to solving data privacy issues in your organization. The Ketch Trust by Design platform enables businesses to build trust with consumers while enabling data-driven growth. With Ketch, you can:

  • Comply with current and future data privacy laws, using repeatable policies and templates, customizable for your needs
  • Create customized privacy experiences for your consumers, with jurisdictionally-aware privacy notices
  • Understand where sensitive and personal data lives across your data ecosystem, using Ketch data mapping and discovery tools
  • Use Ketch risk assessment and intelligence tools conduct privacy risk assessments and maintain a live picture of risk across your business

Request a demo with Ketch to see how an automated, next-gen data privacy platform can simplify your privacy operations and minimize exposure to data privacy issues. 

Read time
7 min read
March 1, 2022
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