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General Data Protection Regulation

Here you can find the official content of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) in the current version. All Articles of the GDPR are linked with suitable recitals.

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5 things you need to know about Data Privacy [Definition & Comparison]

5 things you need to know about Data Privacy

What is Data Privacy?

Data Privacy or Information privacy is a part of the data protection area that deals with the proper handling of data focusing on compliance with data protection regulations.

Data Privacy is centered around how data should be collected, stored, managed, and shared with any third parties, as well as compliance with the applicable privacy laws (such as the California Consumer Privacy Act- CCPA or General Data Protection Regulation GDPR).

[RELATED TOPIC: CCPA vs. GDPR - differences and similarities]

visual representation of data privacy and data security areas
Although sometimes used interchangeably, data privacy and protection are different.

Data Privacy is a subset of the data protection area, as shown in the image above. Along with data security, data privacy creates a Data Protection area with protected usable data as an output.

However, Data Privacy is not just about the proper handling of data but also about the public expectation of privacy, centering around the individual as a key figure.

This is what you need to know about data privacy:

1. There is no Legal Definition of Data Privacy

Even though the GDPR is not the first privacy law, it stands as the most comprehensive and groundbreaking data protection law, reflecting the new digital era in how data is created and managed in modern everyday business processes.

Nevertheless, neither the GDPR nor other data protection laws (like the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), provide a strict definition of what Data Privacy is.

So if you are looking for a definition in a particular law, you won’t find one.

2. Data Privacy is Not the Same as Data Security

Difference between data privacy and data security

To properly protect data and comply with data protection laws, you need both Data Privacy and Data Security. Even though these two terms can look similar, their distinctions are clearer once you start to dissect them.

[RELATED TOPIC: Data Privacy vs. Data Security- definitions and comparisons]

Data Privacy focuses on the rights of individuals, the purpose of data collection and processing, privacy preferences, and the way organizations govern personal data. It focuses on how to collect, process, share, archive, and delete the data under the law.

Data security includes a set of standards, safeguards, and measures an organization takes to prevent any third party from unauthorized access to digital data or any intentional or unintentional alteration, deletion, or disclosure of data.

It focuses on protecting data from malicious attacks and preventing the exploitation of stolen data (data breach or cyber-attack). It includes access control, encryption, and network security.

What is more important for your organization?

Imagine that your company introduces elaborate data security methods using all the necessary means and available measures to protect data but fails to collect that data on a valid lawful basis.

No matter the measures taken to secure your data, this is a violation of data privacy. This example shows us that data security can exist without data privacy, but not vice versa.

3. A Dual Perspective on Data Privacy

The importance of data privacy can be examined from an individual’s point of view and from a business perspective:


Privacy laws aim to give back individuals control over their data, empowering them to know how their data is being used, by whom, and why, giving them control over their personal data.

Organizations that collect personal data must respond to those questions and manage personal data in a compliant way. According to Gartner’s predictions for the future of privacy, privacy is today what “organic” or “cruelty-free” was in the past decade.


Businesses can not operate without processing personal data. However, to stay compliant, companies have to manage personal data transparently, be accountable for the personal data they process, and adhere to privacy principles.

Otherwise, they risk huge regulatory fines, loss of customers’ trust, investor appeal, and data breaches.

However, privacy laws like GDPR have pushed some companies into their digital transformation giving a competitive advantage to privacy-advanced companies.

From meeting customers’ expectations to achieving competitive advantages through a higher quality of data, improved customer experience, and greater investor appeal and brand.

six benefits of being GDPR compliant company

4. Importance of Transparency

In this age of data economy, true company value lies in the collected personal data. This means data is an asset worthy of protecting and keeping.

Companies keep forgetting that the personal data of individuals processed by the companies are only borrowed.

Privacy laws enable individuals to exercise their rights, such as the right to be forgotten, and in certain circumstances, individuals can take back ownership of their data.

To keep the data and build trust, companies must demonstrate transparency by openly communicating how they process and manage personal data.

5. There are More and More Privacy Regulations Worldwide

GDPR is not the first privacy law, but many data privacy laws before GDPR were outdated, given that technology and how we communicate and share our data have changed greatly in just a few years.

General Data Protection Regulation marked the first serious intent to control the excessive exploitation of personal data.

After the GDPR, the US Congress passed similar laws, followed by Brazil (LGPD) and China (PIPL).  Data protection laws will continually evolve in the years to come, and more governments will pass similar initiatives.

Organizations should consider this when creating their business plans, strategies, and marketing activities, not only because of fines but also because this is what individuals will expect.

Importance of Data Privacy in Today’s Digital World

With the increasing use of technology and the internet, there has been a huge growth in the amount of personal data collected and processed by organizations.

This has led to a growing concern among individuals about the security of their personal data and how their data is used.

For this reason, organizations must take the necessary steps to ensure that they comply with privacy regulations and are transparent about collecting, storing, and using personal data.

Additionally, individuals must be vigilant about their data privacy, taking steps to secure their personal data and understand how organizations use their data.

In conclusion, data privacy is more important than ever in the digital age, and both organizations and individuals must take the necessary steps to ensure that personal data is properly protected and used in a responsible manner.

How can you achieve your compliance goals faster?

We are exchanging more data than ever in ways we haven’t before. Technology is changing, and this requires a more sophisticated approach. 

Data privacy software can help you achieve and demonstrate compliance by automating your processes, managing consents, fulfilling data subject rights, managing third parties, and more.

Request a Data Privacy Manager demo

Let us navigate you through the Data Privacy Manager solution and showcase functionalities that will help you overcome your compliance challenges.

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