We live in a time where it’s hard to go more than an entire week without reading a story about data breaches or hacks that expose millions millions of personal details to hackers. People are searching for ways to protect their personal information online.
It’s vital to understand how to protect the personal data that goes into your digital business in order to meet your legal obligations and protect consumers’ privacy. Here are some helpful tips to help you do so.
1. Identify Personal Data
According to data protection laws in the United States, personal data refers to any data that identifies or may be used to identify an individual. In the digital world, that can include a wide range of items ranging from names, email addresses to biometric data. However, many data that could be considered to be personal may be excluded from the personal data scope if there are specific qualifying circumstances. For example when an organization collects a range of data on individuals and asks them to identify their profession, that’s likely not personal data because it can’t be used to identify a specific person.
Many organizations are required to limit the amount of personal data they collect, and this is usually beneficial as it reduces the risk of a security breach. Most data protection laws also require a higher security level for sensitive personal data than standard personal information. That’s because it can have more harmful or damaging effects on the data subject should a breach happen.