Building a Privacy Culture This Data Privacy Week

3 min read
January 26, 2023 at 1:00 PM

In 2022, data privacy became a hot topic as consumers became more aware of how their data was being tracked and used by companies. This was partly due to the efforts of companies like Apple to educate consumers about their privacy rights. In response, some companies faced legal consequences for their data privacy practices, such as TikTok's $92 million settlement in a class action lawsuit and Amazon's $886.6 million fine from the European Union for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) violations.

2023 Data Privacy Trends

Data privacy is expected to shift back to a focus on regulatory compliance in 2023. With federal lawmakers failing to pass a privacy law in 2022, companies are now subject to a patchwork of state-level laws governing data collection, storage, and sharing. Virginia and California have already implemented their own privacy laws, and Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah are expected to follow suit later in the year.

There are several trends to watch for in the data privacy space in 2023. These include efforts to strengthen federal data privacy laws, the implementation of stronger penalties for data privacy breaches, increased transparency from companies about their data collection and use practices, increased funding for data privacy research and development, and enhanced consumer education about data privacy.

Overall, companies need to respect the privacy of their customers, staff, and other stakeholders to build trust and maintain a good reputation. According to the Pew Research Center, consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being used, and companies that are open and transparent about their data practices and respect privacy are more likely to be perceived positively.

Here are a few steps toward building a culture of respecting data at your organization:

Conduct an Assessment - Assess your data collection practices. Understand which privacy laws apply to your business, and remember you will have to think about local, national, and global regulations.

  • Generate and follow security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from unauthorized access.
  • Make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.
  • Do not forget to maintain oversight of partners and vendors as well — if another organization provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.

Compass IT Compliance can help you take a risk-based approach to data privacy and privacy risk assessments by utilizing the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Privacy Framework. A privacy framework can help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organization. It is a way to build privacy into your organization’s foundation.

The NIST Privacy Framework supports data privacy in organizations by:

  • Building customers’ trust by encouraging ethical decision-making during the design and deployment of products and services.
  • Meeting compliance obligations now and in the future, as it relates to products and services, in a changing technological and policy environment.
  • Facilitating communication regarding privacy with individuals, business partners, assessors, and regulators.

Privacy Awareness Education - Your employees are the frontline toward protecting all the data your organization collects. Create a culture of data privacy in your organization by educating your employees about both their individual obligations as well as your organization’s obligations to protect personal information:

  • Create a privacy policy for your company and ensure your employees know it.
  • Teach new employees about their role in your privacy culture during the onboarding process.
  • Engage staff by asking them to consider how privacy and data security applies to the work they do daily. Better security and privacy behaviors at home will translate to better security and privacy practices at work.
  • Remind employees to update their privacy and security settings on work and personal accounts.

Work With Our Trusted Data Privacy Consultants

This year’s Data Privacy Week gives organizations an opportunity to reevaluate their data privacy controls and plans, and to make improvements prior to a data disaster. But you do not have to tackle these challenges alone! Compass IT Compliance serves as a trusted data privacy consultant for companies across the nation, helping to assess what data they possess, where it resides, and what controls are in place to protect that data and meet compliance with a myriad of industry and government regulations. Contact us today to discuss your unique data environment!

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