Data Privacy vs. Data Protection: Understanding the Differences

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Data Privacy and Data Protection go hand in hand and are often used interchangeably despite their distinct differences. Both are crucial for customer safety and business continuity.

In this post, we will demystify these concepts, highlight their differences and interdependencies to help you understand how you can effectively safeguard your customers data and protect your business from data breaches and the resulting fines.

What is Data Privacy and Data Protection?

Data privacy relates to the policies that govern how customer data is handled – encompassing its collection, usage, storage, sharing and eventual deletion. This includes sensitive information such as names, ages, locations, credit card details, birthdates and medical records.

Data protection focuses on the practical measures to safeguard this data from harm, loss, threats, damage, or compromise. It's the shield that ensures the promises of data privacy are kept.

The Differences between Data Privacy and Data Protection

1. Interdependence of Data Privacy and Data Protection

While privacy outlines the 'what' and 'why' of data handling, protection provides the 'how'. Privacy policies do not inherently guarantee data security, just as robust data protection doesn't automatically ensure privacy compliance. For example, a privacy policy may dictate that you don't share customer data with third parties, but it's the data protection measures that enforce this policy through access controls and encryption.

Your organisation must manage both aspects with equal diligence, understanding that robust firewalls or encryption don't negate the potential misuse of customer data.

2. Control and Responsibility in Data Governance

Data Governance encompasses both privacy and protection, but assigns different roles to the company and its customers. Data privacy is largely customer-driven; they decide what they share and consent to. Companies, however, are responsible for data protection.

This involves implementing security measures like encryption, password management and appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO). While customers can limit their data exposure, the onus of its protection lies squarely with the company.

This dual responsibility is underpinned by transparency as companies not only comply with regulations like GDPR, but also actively engage with customers about how their data is used and protected.

3. From Privacy Policy to Protection Strategy

Data privacy and protection are essential, but one must precede the other. Privacy must come before protection.

The scope of your data protection strategies is shaped by your privacy policies. Just as you wouldn't plan a vacation without a destination, your data protection measures should follow the contours of your privacy commitments. Understanding the type of data you collect and how it is used guides the development of appropriate security measures.

For instance, if your privacy policy limits data retention, the data protection strategy must include secure data deletion protocols. This alignment ensures technical measures go beyond defending against external threats and help enforce internal data handling policies.

4. Compliance in Data Privacy vs Security in Data Protection

Data privacy is a compliance issue, aligning with regulatory requirements and saving your company from potential penalties. Data protection, however, is about safeguarding data from unauthorised access and breaches. Privacy focuses on policy, while protection is about the mechanisms that enforce those policies.

Understanding these functional distinctions is crucial for business leaders to ensure that their organisations are not only legally compliant but also technically protected against data threats.

The Synergies of Data Privacy and Data Protection

In a time where data breaches and cyber threats happen more and more frequently, understanding and implementing both data privacy and data protection is non-negotiable. While they are different, their synergy is essential for business continuity and customer trust.

Yes, they are intricately linked, but they require individual attention. For today's business leaders, it's not just about adhering to regulations or deploying the latest technologies - it's about taking a holistic approach where respect for customer privacy and the safeguarding of their data go hand in hand.

How Zendata Supports Data Privacy and Data Protection

Data privacy, data protection, and compliance can be complicated—and it is getting more complex every day. Zendata's AI-powered, no code platform helps businesses to understand their data security risks and simplify compliance.

For example, our Privacy Mapper can scan, identify and help you protect customer data and PII wherever it is located, while our Code-Scanner proactively identifies PII in your codebases and software development lifecycle. Our solutions empower IT teams to manage data and security effortlessly, without the need for extensive technical expertise.

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Data Privacy vs. Data Protection: Understanding the Differences

August 2, 2022

Data Privacy and Data Protection go hand in hand and are often used interchangeably despite their distinct differences. Both are crucial for customer safety and business continuity.

In this post, we will demystify these concepts, highlight their differences and interdependencies to help you understand how you can effectively safeguard your customers data and protect your business from data breaches and the resulting fines.

What is Data Privacy and Data Protection?

Data privacy relates to the policies that govern how customer data is handled – encompassing its collection, usage, storage, sharing and eventual deletion. This includes sensitive information such as names, ages, locations, credit card details, birthdates and medical records.

Data protection focuses on the practical measures to safeguard this data from harm, loss, threats, damage, or compromise. It's the shield that ensures the promises of data privacy are kept.

The Differences between Data Privacy and Data Protection

1. Interdependence of Data Privacy and Data Protection

While privacy outlines the 'what' and 'why' of data handling, protection provides the 'how'. Privacy policies do not inherently guarantee data security, just as robust data protection doesn't automatically ensure privacy compliance. For example, a privacy policy may dictate that you don't share customer data with third parties, but it's the data protection measures that enforce this policy through access controls and encryption.

Your organisation must manage both aspects with equal diligence, understanding that robust firewalls or encryption don't negate the potential misuse of customer data.

2. Control and Responsibility in Data Governance

Data Governance encompasses both privacy and protection, but assigns different roles to the company and its customers. Data privacy is largely customer-driven; they decide what they share and consent to. Companies, however, are responsible for data protection.

This involves implementing security measures like encryption, password management and appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO). While customers can limit their data exposure, the onus of its protection lies squarely with the company.

This dual responsibility is underpinned by transparency as companies not only comply with regulations like GDPR, but also actively engage with customers about how their data is used and protected.

3. From Privacy Policy to Protection Strategy

Data privacy and protection are essential, but one must precede the other. Privacy must come before protection.

The scope of your data protection strategies is shaped by your privacy policies. Just as you wouldn't plan a vacation without a destination, your data protection measures should follow the contours of your privacy commitments. Understanding the type of data you collect and how it is used guides the development of appropriate security measures.

For instance, if your privacy policy limits data retention, the data protection strategy must include secure data deletion protocols. This alignment ensures technical measures go beyond defending against external threats and help enforce internal data handling policies.

4. Compliance in Data Privacy vs Security in Data Protection

Data privacy is a compliance issue, aligning with regulatory requirements and saving your company from potential penalties. Data protection, however, is about safeguarding data from unauthorised access and breaches. Privacy focuses on policy, while protection is about the mechanisms that enforce those policies.

Understanding these functional distinctions is crucial for business leaders to ensure that their organisations are not only legally compliant but also technically protected against data threats.

The Synergies of Data Privacy and Data Protection

In a time where data breaches and cyber threats happen more and more frequently, understanding and implementing both data privacy and data protection is non-negotiable. While they are different, their synergy is essential for business continuity and customer trust.

Yes, they are intricately linked, but they require individual attention. For today's business leaders, it's not just about adhering to regulations or deploying the latest technologies - it's about taking a holistic approach where respect for customer privacy and the safeguarding of their data go hand in hand.

How Zendata Supports Data Privacy and Data Protection

Data privacy, data protection, and compliance can be complicated—and it is getting more complex every day. Zendata's AI-powered, no code platform helps businesses to understand their data security risks and simplify compliance.

For example, our Privacy Mapper can scan, identify and help you protect customer data and PII wherever it is located, while our Code-Scanner proactively identifies PII in your codebases and software development lifecycle. Our solutions empower IT teams to manage data and security effortlessly, without the need for extensive technical expertise.