What Is Data Privacy?

What Is Data Privacy?

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What Is Data Privacy?

Stories of online identity theft have become common on the news, and American consumers are increasingly concerned about protecting their privacy, their financial information, and their property, digital or otherwise. But what is data privacy and how do you protect it?

Protecting your data from a data breach or other kind of leak is very important for minimizing your risk of identity theft. As more companies are targeted in relation to data breaches and other malicious attacks, this can cause consumers to question their level of trust in the companies and websites that they use.

This can also lead to consumers coming together and filing class action lawsuits against those companies that have not taken appropriate action to prevent or to respond to malware, ransomware, and other cyber security threats.

If your personal information or private data was leaked or stolen due to the negligent data security of a business you trusted, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. You can contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.

Defining Data Privacy

Data privacy may also be referred to as information privacy. It is a part of data protection that concerns personal data and the management and handling of sensitive data. Any confidential data may be included as part of a data privacy definition, including intellectual property materials and financial data.

Data protection spans three primary categories. These include traditional data protection, data security, and data privacy. Understanding each of these issues may help you if you realize that you may have been a victim of a data privacy breach.

If that is the case, the experienced data privacy lawyers at Morgan & Morgan may be able to evaluate your case and tell you more about your legal options. It can be very overwhelming to deal with a data privacy breach on your own, but a data privacy lawyer can help you evaluate your rights and understand your opportunity for compensation.

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  • Why Would Someone Steal Data?

    In many cases, a cybercriminal involved in stealing data may be using it for their own personal gain or may simply be gathering it to resell it on the dark web. Regardless of how your information was gathered, there are many different potential problems that can unfold as a result of stolen data.

    Personally identifying information is extremely valuable to criminals. This is because of the other crimes that can be carried out after this data has been obtained. For example, someone who learned enough about your address, social security number, and employment history may use this information to take out a loan or to hack into your bank account. They may open lines of credit that you did not authorize and run up substantial debt in your name. In some cases, criminals may learn sensitive information about you and use it to hold that detail for ransom. Criminals can also block companies from having access to their own data or systems, harming revenue until a specific ransom has been paid.

    Because of the broad scope of issues that may apply as a result of malware, ransomware, or other cybersecurity attacks, it is difficult to know exactly how this data may have been compromised or to what extent it was shared with multiple other entities or individuals. This can lead to substantial personal, financial, or other harm to people.

    With a growing number of small, medium, and large businesses facing substantial cybersecurity risks, it can be hard to tell the exact damage done to you personally when your data has been stolen. It is very helpful, however, to consult with knowledgeable data privacy lawyers to determine whether or not the company involved in leaking this data may be held responsible. In some situations, you may be able to file a class action lawsuit with other consumers who have also been harmed as a result of data privacy or data breach violations.

  • What is The Value of Data Privacy?

    There are two main purposes for why data privacy for businesses is so important. The first of these two business imperatives is regulatory compliance. This is especially important given that so many businesses today collect data about their consumers or even people who have merely expressed interest in their products or services.

    The management of data to ensure regulatory compliance is crucial because it holds businesses accountable to common standards about how they store, process, and collect personal data. In the event of non-compliance issues, a company could face significant fines, which may vary around the world, depending on data privacy laws. In the event that a business becomes the victim of ransomware or a hack, the consequences of lost consumer trust and potential revenue could be severe.

    The second component of data privacy is business asset management. It is arguable that in today's climate, the data owned by a business is the most valuable asset the company has. Companies find tremendous value in sharing, using, and collecting data about their users or customers. This is especially true in the world of social media when this is the primary target for a company’s advertising.

    This makes it very important that users of seemingly free products or services seek transparency in how businesses keep personal data and manage data. This is crucial for protecting consumers as well as minimizing the possibility of data breaches. It also verifies that consumers have the appropriate opportunity to review materials and to decide what they are or are not willing to share with various companies.

  • What Is the Difference Between Data Security and Data Privacy?

    Although many people may use these terms interchangeably, they're actually different. Businesses may mistakenly believe that keeping sensitive and personal data secure from hackers automatically means they have come into compliance with data privacy regulations, but data privacy specifically refers to the governing of how that data is shared, collected, and used. Data security, however, is a whole other component that prevents attacks from external attackers as well as insiders.

    One of the most challenging aspects of defining data privacy is that there is no one common legal definition. In fact, various different public policies and governments have addressed this in different ways, such as GDPR in the European Union and HIPAA for medical records in the United States. Anyone who works with personal or private data, however, should be aware of what data privacy means and the best ways to enhance their company's protection regarding it.

  • What Is at Risk if Data Privacy Is Not Protected?

    In the vast majority of jurisdictions around the world, data privacy is considered a fundamental and primary human right. Organizations must use data protection practices to show their users and customers that they can be trusted with personal data. There are many different ways that pieces of personal data can be misused if it is not kept private or if people have no ability to elect how that information is used.

    Entities, for example, may sell personal data to outside parties like advertisers without the consent of the user, which means that the user then receives unwanted advertising and marketing. Criminals can then frequently tap into personal data to harass, defraud, or leverage information about users. Finally, when someone's activities are monitored and tracked, this could limit their ability to freely express themselves, which is especially problematic under certain governments.

    There are various laws that govern data privacy at the national level. There are also those managed at the state level. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act requires that consumers be informed about their personal data and gives consumers details about that personal data, including a right to tell organizations that they do not have permission to sell their personal data.

  • What Is Fair Information Practice?

    Foundational privacy principles contribute to the formation of existing data protection laws. Fair information practices are details about data collection and usage in terms of best practice guidelines. These were initially proposed in 1973 and were adopted by the International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These fair information practices include use limitations, purpose specifications, data quality rules, collection limitations, openness, individual participation guidelines, accountability, and security safeguards.

  • What to Do if You Believe You've Been Violated Due to Data Privacy

    If you believe that your personal information has been leaked, stolen, or sold without your personal permission to do so, you could face a broad range of harm. Reaching out to the data privacy lawyers at Morgan & Morgan may be your next best step.

    If you or someone you know might be dealing with the fallout of poor data privacy, know that you're not alone. Working with a qualified lawyer is one of the best ways to protect yourself and to help get your footing back underneath you. Working with a data privacy or data breach lawyer may give you some insight into your legal rights to fight for compensation.

    Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.

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