What is Data Privacy, Really? 5 Things Most Organizations Get Wrong

What is Data Privacy, Really? 5 Things Most Organizations Get Wrong

Protecting data was a major concern before 2020. A year spent weathering a global pandemic and shifting to work-from-home propelled this issue to a whole new level. Securing data is no longer just “very important”… it’s essential.

However, there is a difference between keeping data secure and keeping it private. Most organizations focus on cybersecurity; they protect their computer systems, networks, hardware, and software. Their focus is on preventing data breaches and theft. Keeping data private tends to be a secondary concern. One which, if ignored, can have dire consequences.

visual representation of data privacy and data security areas

What is Data Privacy, Really?

Data privacy, also referred to as information privacy, is data security’s kissing cousin. It’s the area of data protection centered around the proper handling of sensitive data, such as personal data, certain financial data, and intellectual property data. It addresses how data should be collected, stored, managed, and shared with third parties as well as how to comply with the applicable privacy laws (i.e., HIPPA, CCPA, GDPR, etc.).

However, data privacy isn’t just about the proper handling of data. It’s about the public expectation of privacy.

Consumers want to know their personal information is safe. More importantly, they want control over where their information goes, who gets to see/use it, and why. Data protection laws gives them (us!) control over how their personal data is being processed and used.

According to a PWC global survey, 85% of consumers say they wish they could trust companies with their data more.

Why Data Privacy is Important

With today’s technology, it can take mere seconds for news of a data privacy violation to reach every corner of the world; bad news travels fast and far. A company’s reputation (and bottom line) can plummet due to a data privacy breach. Therefore, it’s essential for organizations to add data privacy to their data security plan. Without it, their integrity and their customer’s trust are jeopardized.

5 Data Privacy Practices that Most Organizations Get Wrong

  1. Institute a formal personal data request procedure. Data privacy revolves around consent; individuals want a say in when, where, and how their personal information is being used. This means your organization needs a formal, trackable process for recording third-party requests for this information. Neglecting to track where private information goes can lead to costly legal repercussions and a serious dip in customer trust.
  2. Limit data collection and storage. Data is an organization’s most precious commodity. It’s tempting to hold onto all of it, even if it’s outdated. This sets your company up for a serious data privacy leak. Minimize this risk by putting a cap on how much confidential data you collect and store.
  3. Say no to third-party websites. Regardless of your relationship with third parties and their websites, sharing data covered by data privacy regulations with them is a major no-no. Not only does it open your company up for legal ramifications, but it’s also a huge breach of trust with your clients and can lead to other security breaches. Don’t do it.
  4. Include data privacy in your cybersecurity plan. As stated above, data privacy often gets overlooked when it comes to developing security plans. Security breaches of any type are catastrophic. Data privacy breaches can include legal actions, enormous fines, and a serious blow to your brand’s reputation. Be proactive and include it in your planning, training, and daily protocols.
  5. Educate your team. Cybersecurity and data privacy is best protected by well-informed people. 95% of security breaches are caused by human error! Invest in education and training to ensure your team understands what data privacy is and how to properly secure the data they work with.

Bonus tip: Have an incident response plan. More than 77% of organizations do not have an incident response plan. Do you?

How We Can Help

Cybersecurity, data privacy… it’s a lot to take in – and it’s all really important! How do you address these issues in a timely and affordable manner?

Easy. Educate your team.

Investing in your staff’s cybersecurity and data privacy skillset is the most effective defense against costly tech-related breaches. Providing this learning also:

  • Fosters a culture of security and awareness.
  • Ensures that your entire team’s knowledge and skills are up to date.
  • Promotes teambuilding and connection.

For those already in the cybersecurity field, including data privacy-specific skills and certifications to your resumé makes you more attractive to employers.

As an affiliate of a full-service IT service provider, CCS Learning Academy knows how important it is to get the right security information. Our course catalog reflects the most current and on-trend learning being used in the industry right now. Our sessions are led by working professionals who bring real-world knowledge and expertise you can put into play immediately. From group classes to individual learning paths, our team can help you access the training that best suits your needs.


There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. If this statistic doesn’t bring home the seriousness of protecting your technology and your data, what will? The key is to ensure you develop a comprehensive security plan that includes data privacy. Your clients will thank you and continue to put their trust in your brand.

Want to arrange a group training on data privacy? Interested in which training you need to include data privacy in your skillset? Contact us! We can get you on the right path quickly and easily.