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The role of technology in ensuring data privacy compliance

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By Nitesh Khare, Certified Data Protection Officer, Director-Zou Global Services

In today’s digital age, where data privacy concerns are at the forefront, countries worldwide are stepping up efforts to establish regulations that set standards for data protection. Approximately 80% of countries globally have either implemented or drafted legislation for data protection and privacy. Prominent examples include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe (2018), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US (2020), the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) in China (2021), and the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act in India (2023).

In this context, the role of technology in ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations becomes increasingly vital. Let’s explore how technological advancements are helping enterprises navigate the complexities of data protection laws and uphold individuals’ privacy rights in today’s digital landscape.

1. Encryption and data masking:

Imagine your sensitive information as a secret code only you and authorized people can understand. Encryption and data masking technologies are like putting that secret code in a locked box when you’re not using it and unlocking it only when needed. This way, even if someone tries to peek inside, they won’t understand what’s written. These technologies help companies follow rules about protecting personal information from being seen by the wrong people.

2. Anonymisation and Pseudonymisation:

Sometimes, companies need to use data without knowing who it belongs to. Anonymization and pseudonymization are like giving data new names or hiding parts of it so no one can tell whose data it is. This helps companies use data for good reasons without revealing anyone’s secrets. These tools are important for following laws like the DPDP Act, which says companies must keep personal information safe.

3. Identity and access management (IAM):

Think of IAM solutions as security guards for your personal information. They make sure only the right people can see it. These solutions use special codes and rules to decide who can access sensitive data. Using strong passwords and other security tricks, IAM helps companies ensure only trusted people can access your information. It’s like having a secret handshake to enter a club!

4. Privacy-preserving analytics:

Imagine you have a magic book that tells you secrets about a big group of people without knowing who they are. Privacy-preserving analytics is like that magic book. It helps companies learn things from data without knowing whose data it is. Companies can learn from data without spying on anyone by using special tricks, like mixing information or keeping some parts hidden. It’s like solving a puzzle without seeing all the pieces.

5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP):

DLP technologies guard your personal information, ensuring it doesn’t run away or get lost. They monitor where data goes and stop it from going to the wrong places. By watching out for sneaky tricks and blocking bad guys, DLP keeps your information safe from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have it. It’s like having a superhero protect your secrets!

6. AI misuse detection

The techniques for safeguarding our personal information have also advanced with technology. Modern technology is also tackling the misuse of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. These cutting-edge algorithms are made to recognize oddities and patterns that could indicate possible dangers. Businesses can quickly detect and resolve security incidents by using real-time data analysis on enormous volumes of data. Some systems, for example, can identify unusual data access patterns or recurrently unsuccessful login attempts as suspicious behaviour, and they can trigger alarms for additional investigation.

7. Multi-factor authentication (MFA):

Your personal information is further protected with multi-factor authentication. You must provide several forms of identification to verify your identity, such as entering a password and verifying a code that is texted to your phone. In this manner, even if your password is stolen, the hacker will still be unable to access your data without the extra verification. By guaranteeing that only authorized people can access sensitive information, MFA assists businesses in adhering to requirements.

Let’s see.

8. Blockchain technology:

Blockchain technology functions similarly to a digital ledger, securely and impenetrably logging transactions. It can help achieve more accountability and traceability by using it to produce an unchangeable, transparent record of data access and modifications. Businesses can improve data privacy compliance by using blockchain to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of sensitive data.

9. Automated data governance:

Companies can use automated data governance systems to maintain and enforce data privacy policies more efficiently. These solutions automatically classify data depending on sensitivity and implement suitable security measures like access controls and encryption. Companies that streamline their data governance processes can assure consistent compliance with data privacy requirements while also reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.

Conclusion

In conclusion, technology is like a shield that helps companies protect your personal information in today’s world of rules and regulations. With tools like encryption, anonymisation, IAM, privacy-preserving analytics, and DLP, companies can keep your data safe, follow laws like the DPDP Act, and make sure your secrets stay secret. As the rules about privacy change, companies need to keep using new and better technology to keep up and ensure your information stays safe and private.

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