The modern world is becoming increasingly data-driven, with companies using data for all kinds of purposes. Trillions of data points are collected across all kinds of different industries daily, with companies using this data to refine business processes and deliver better products and services. Sharing data can make our lives easier both at home and work, with data used for everything from refining our shopping choices to providing ways to reduce energy costs.
While data is important in an increasing number of ways, it’s also important that it’s used responsibly. Data protection laws govern how data can be used, ensuring that it is used responsibly and protected. In general, data protection law applies to all types of workplaces, businesses, societies, groups, clubs, and businesses. This applies to small businesses too, so if you own your own business it’s important to know the laws and how they affect you.
Learning More About Data Protection Laws
Data protection laws are more important than ever, with major laws being implemented over the past few years. The EU General Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in Europe in 2018 and sets rules for how companies use and store consumer data. In addition, the US and many other countries are establishing new laws that control how companies can collect, store and use consumer data.
If you own a business or work in a field that involves consumer data, knowing the laws is crucial. Taking data protection law courses can be helpful, especially if your business will be dealing with data a lot. It’s also relevant to anyone working in data analysis, IT, or the legal industry. Having a wide understanding of data regulation is important as the law and digital society are becoming more closely entwined.
In the future, data collection will likely play an even larger role in our societies. It will become more normal for companies to collect as much data as possible on each customer, helping to provide a personalised experience. The future of data collection and analysis will likely involve the use of AI, which will help companies gain greater insights into their consumers and business practices. Because the way we collect and share data is likely to continue to develop and grow, learning about data protection laws is a worthwhile investment.
Why Data Protection is Important
Collecting data on consumers is necessary for modern businesses, but it’s important that it isn’t misused or allowed to be accessed by others. Employee records, customer information, loyalty schemes, transactions, and data collection are all examples of key pieces of information that businesses typically maintain.
Data must be stored correctly to prevent third parties from accessing and misusing the information. This kind of personal data can be used for fraudulent purposes such as phishing scams and identity theft. If personal or financial data falls into the wrong hands, it can potentially lead to a lot of damage.
In some cases, companies that misuse data or allow data breaches have been fined millions of dollars. Amazon was the result of the largest ever GDPR fine in 2021, having to pay $886 million for a data breach. Other companies have been forced to pay similar fines, which are based on a percentage of the company’s annual revenue.
In addition to saving time and money through proper data compliance practices, companies can establish themselves as a trusted brand. Companies that fail to adequately collect and store customer data may gain a bad reputation and see their business suffer as a result. On the other hand, those that are responsible for how they collect their data and how to prevent data misuse could benefit from increased business.