By Tyler Rauert
Data might be the most valuable asset in today’s economy. Its capacity to power businesses and transform industries – even industries without mandatory hoodies or kombucha on-tap – is undeniable. However, as Spider-Man reminds us in every chance he gets, with great power comes great responsibility. Governments worldwide recognize the power of data and are codifying the duties of data-driven organizations in increasingly inescapable regulatory regimes.
While laws (including Colorado’s newly-enacted Data Privacy Law, which took effect on July 1, 2023) are made state by state and country by country, businesses regularly sell goods or services in more than one state and often more than one country. This means that your company probably has to comply with multiple laws. It’s enough to make even the most sophisticated executive’s head spin.
I have created data privacy compliance programs for companies ranging from high-growth global technology companies and multinational conglomerates to small businesses and non-profits. In this three-part blog series, I will de-mystify the often-confusing data privacy landscape and outline your company’s data privacy obligations.
First: an overview of the landscape of data privacy. While data privacy laws can and do vary from one jurisdiction to another, several common principles tend to form the foundation of these regulations, including:
- Consent and Purpose Limitations: Organizations must have a reasonable basis to collect individuals’ personal data (such as informed consent), and they can only use the data collected for legally-permitted purposes;
- Data Minimization: Organizations should limit the collection and retention of personal data to what is necessary to fulfill the intended purpose of the collection and use;
- Security: Adequate security measures must be in place to protect personal data from unauthorized access, loss, or destruction; and
- Individual Rights: Individuals have the right to access, correct, and delete their personal data, as well as the right to know how their data is being used.
These general principles are the pillars that support governments’ efforts to enhance privacy and security. They’re also the foundation of a solid data privacy compliance program. They can even be a competitive differentiator that encourages customer loyalty and the enhanced revenue stream that comes with it.
In our next post, we’ll compare and contrast data privacy laws in the U.S. and E.U.