If you want to see first-hand why data protection is important, just do a Google “news” search on the term “data breach”. You’ll notice two basic things. First is the sheer number of different stories about business data breaches. They are no longer isolated incidents, but daily occurrences.
The second thing you’ll notice is the number of stories devoted to increases in data breach incidents. More stories and more stories about more incidents. If you thought this was a problem before, it’s an exponentially bigger one now.
3 Reasons Why Data Protection is So Important
Of course, business owners and managers understand the importance of protecting sensitive information, whether it’s online or on documents in storage. But not as many grasp the extent to which they must protect the data and the breadth of the risk they expose themselves to when they don’t.
- It’s the Law – The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is an online data protection law that requires businesses to get the consent of an individual before the business can use or disclose that individual’s personal data. The Act also stipulates that the information can only be used for the stated purpose for which it was collected.
- You Are Bound by the Laws of Other Countries – As the web puts business globalization into the realm of even the smallest companies, it’s not enough to adhere only to Canadian laws. Laws protecting sensitive personal information, including bank account and health information, are different and can be more restrictive in other countries.
- You Are Responsible for the Data You Collect – Once you have collected personal data, you are responsible for it wherever it goes from there. In other words, if you pass along sensitive customer information to a third party, you are responsible for their handling of that data. If an individual customer suffers a case of identity theft due to the third-party mishandling of data you collected, you are liable for the consequences.
If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our recent post on four electronic document storage best practices.