How to Comply with Consumer Data Privacy Regulations?
6 mins read

How to Comply with Consumer Data Privacy Regulations?

Business is always a rollercoaster ride from a revenue and growth perspective, and the last problem any organization needs right now is an enforcement action over data compliance.

Organizations have jumped on the data-driven bandwagon eagerly, recognizing the opportunity for advanced analytics to further business objectives. Control over the data landscape helps companies improve situational awareness to enable tailoring of sales, marketing, and product strategies.

Data-driven organizations have learned to thrive by leveraging data including personally identifiable information to target advertisements and make recommendations that grow sales. But as organizations increase their use of personal information to improve business results, they also raise their exposure to consumer data privacy regulations.

What is consumer data privacy?

Consumer Data Privacy involves the proper handling of sensitive and personally identifiable information such as financial or health data that is traceable to a specific individual or identity. A single company may collect personally identifiable data from millions of customers as part of its day-to-day operations, and it is vital to protect this data in compliance with the numerous consumer data privacy regulations that have emerged in recent years.

Organizations must be aware of what sensitive personal data is present, and that data must be properly protected. Examples of sensitive personal data include name, address, date of birth, credit card details, social security numbers, driving license and identity card numbers, etc.

What are consumer data privacy regulations?

So far worldwide, over 100 countries have adopted data privacy laws and regulations. In just the last three years regulatory compliance enforcement has exploded and surpassed over $200 million in fines issued. These fines range from as small as $50 to over $50 million dollars depending on the violation and the specific case. In 2018 Europe’s GDPR roll-out triggered a regulatory storm of similar regulations from other jurisdictions including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), followed by Virginia, New York, and other states. The specific requirements of all these country and state regulations are different, but they all share the same eight principles for consumer data privacy protection.

Consumer Data Privacy Regulations

What organizations must comply with consumer data privacy regulations?

While jurisdictional arguments for data processors may always be waged, it is a best practice that all personally identifiable information be maintained in compliance with the consumer data privacy laws of each user’s regulated geography. For instance, data processors who process EU data should maintain GDPR compliance regardless of the data storage location or the zone of a global network.

Furthermore, citizenship alone does not decide the jurisdictional reach of each data privacy regulation. In the case of CCPA, sensitive personal data may include household members in California. There are exceptions as to whom these rules apply, but the stakes of non-compliance are high including enforcements, fines, and even sanctions affecting data availability such as domain ban across particular geography.

When are consumer data privacy regulations effective?

Consumer data privacy regulations are not new, as they have been around in different facets since the last century, however, regulations have expanded greatly along with global cell phone and Internet use.

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Jan 2020
Virginia Consumer Data Privacy Act (CDPA) Jan 2023
New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Cybersecurity Regulation : Feb 2018
Canada Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) – replaces PIPEDA End 2021
Brazil Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGPD) Feb 2020

Why is Consumer Data Privacy important?

Monetary repercussions. With each breach in data privacy starting at $2,500, a company with personal data of 1000 customers is easily looking at fines at a few million dollars.

Consumer rights. Internet users today are increasingly knowledgeable about their rights and the data privacy regulations in place. Furthermore, data privacy is a fundamental right afforded by most worldwide democracies. Legislative initiatives like GDPR and CCPA protect the rights of consumers regarding their personally identifiable information that has been collected.

Company brand repercussions. Large-scale data breaches negatively influence customers in how they want to be associated with the brand. Loyal users expect that critical privacy obligations will be met.

What is Privacy By Design?

Data privacy by design is an architected approach to cloud data management that ensures all data privacy regulations globally are met instead of requiring different solutions for different geographies and jurisdictions.

SOLIXCloud Consumer Data Privacy is a suite of three powerful tools that complement the W3C open standard security features of the SOLIXCloud Common Data Platform.

Sensitive Data Discovery: Sensitive data is prevalent in every organization, but not every organization is able to locate all instances of their sensitive data so it may be properly secured. Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured sensitive data may be prevalent across multiple clouds and file server silos – and discovering where it is located in a crucial stepping stone towards enabling data privacy.

Data Masking: Static and dynamic data masking involves the obfuscation of sensitive data such as required by regulatory statutes so that the data’s syntax is maintained, but the actual data is masked, redacted, encrypted, or anonymized. Data masking is required for all non-production instances of PCI, PHI, and PII.

Data compliance: All sensitive and personally identifiable information must be governed by Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) policies and business rules across its lifecycle. These rules must be enforced by design and meet auditable standards of compliance.

SOLIXCloud Consumer Data Privacy

How soon do I have to become compliant?

As companies become more data-driven and more effective using data analytics to make better business decisions, they will inevitably collect more and more sensitive personal information which must be managed and secured properly.

Enforcements are already happening today and will increase as new regulations by states and countries come into effect in the next couple of years. While significant today already, the business risk of mishandling consumer data is growing every day. Certainly, consumers have become more proactive in recognizing their right to be informed and right to consent to personal data collection.

The imperative to manage consumer data privacy is significant and the risk to brand reputation, customer relationship, and statutory fines will exacerbate if not properly handled. Consumer data privacy is a top priority for CIOs, CISOs, and data management professionals worldwide.