Protecting Consumer Privacy

By: Jenny Montoya · January 26, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is an international event observed each year on January 28. It aims to raise awareness and promote best practices in privacy and data protection.

These days, it’s not uncommon for an entire business model to be built around collecting user data, as in the case of many social media and tech companies (among others). With that, it’s astounding how much data the world actually collects. As of 2020, 4.2 zettabytes of data are stored per year globally. For reference, a zettabyte means 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Companies realize the value in user data and have gone to great lengths to collect it. Now, many are faced with the challenge of organizing and protecting the insurmountable amount of data coming in.

Data Privacy in the US

Currently, in the US, there is no federal standard when it comes to data privacy regulations or protection. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act has been proposed in Congress, but is not guaranteed to pass. If it falls through, states will be left in charge of creating and enforcing regulations on their own.

At the state level, only 35 of the 50 states have enacted data privacy regulations of some sort. The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, offers the strictest regulations for data privacy.

Looking Forward

Data privacy is a complex issue to solve, especially considering it touches many different parts of an organization. Cybersecurity aside, several departments must play a role in protecting data, including compliance, legal, IT, and even customer support.

Many smaller companies simply don’t have the resources to protect the vast quantities of data they collect. And, for global businesses, the challenge intensifies, given each country has different regulations.

With Data Privacy Day around the corner, it’s high time for companies to transition efforts away from mere data collection and toward data classification. In other words, organizations are being urged to prioritize the act of organizing and protecting the data that they already have.

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