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In today’s digitally-driven business world, businesses must protect the information they collect about their customers. A business can mishandle all kinds of sensitive information entrusted to them such as health information, and identifying information like Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and credit card numbers. 

The result? 

Disaster, especially if the press hears of the data breach. If you are a business owner, a Florida business lawyer can head off disaster or help you deal with it, if necessary. 

Introduction: Overview of Data Privacy and Security

Data privacy is a hot topic right now. As The Federal Trade Commission warns, data theft makes it vital that businesses take robust measures to secure the data of their customers.

Best practice standards in data privacy are critical. All employees must undergo training on how to handle sensitive information. Security is paramount. A business today must be aware of the best way to handle all secure data. 

Defining Data Privacy and Security in a Business Context

Data privacy and security mean life or death for businesses. Every day, individuals file lawsuits in the United States due to privacy breaches. Both external and internal threats can compromise data privacy – anything from a disloyal or disgruntled employee to a virus infecting the mainframes.

These are some of the businesses that often handle sensitive data:

  • Credit card companies (financial)
  • Banks (financial)
  • Medical offices (health, personal identification)
  • Retailers (personal identification)
  • Mortgage Lenders (financial, personal identification)

Businesses that know how to protect data privacy are less likely to get sued.

Primary Laws Regulating Business Data Privacy and Security

There are important laws that regulate data privacy and security for businesses. Here are some of them:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services uses the HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws to protect an individual’s right not to disclose their health information.
  • The Graham-Leach-Billey Act (GLBA) requires all financial institutions (banks, mortgage lenders, credit unions, for example) to protect their customers’ financial information.
  • The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe protects privacy by defining personal data such as telephone numbers, IP addresses, and more, as needing protection. It includes detailed regulations on how businesses must shield and protect customers’ data.

Businesses must take these laws into account when drafting their data privacy policies.

Maintaining Compliance: Essential Strategies for Businesses 

Businesses can adopt many strategies to ensure compliance with data privacy and security laws. These could range from conducting regular privacy audits of all employees’ computers to hiring a firm to implement robust security measures. Many businesses are now adhering to a policy of only obtaining data necessary to run the business and limiting which employees can access sensitive data.Businesses who seek expert counsel should contact an attorney to advise them of their best options regarding data privacy. Contact our firm today to discuss how we can help protect your business from a data breach.