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Global Data Protection

Privacy: A Global Perspective

Around the world, citizens are making their voices heard: the right to privacy isn’t something that can be disregarded. Governments and businesses must work together to create the conditions that safeguard personal information from accidental exposure, loss, or theft. But there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Nations have unique customs and laws that shape their approach to privacy protection.

Privacy in the US

It may surprise you to know that the United States has no federal law that regulates the general collection, use, or disclosure of personal information. Instead, the US has a patchwork of laws that vary by state and business sector.

Some of the most prominent include

  • The Federal Trade Commission Act (which protects consumers against unfair or deceptive business practices)
  • The Financial Services Modernization Act (which regulates the finance industry)
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (which protects medical information)
These are just a few of the most established regulations, and with data breaches being a continual security threat, new and more robust requirements are being implemented all the time.

Privacy Around the World

Other nations are taking steps to address privacy in accordance to their needs and capabilities. These solutions are diverse, and should always be understood before we collect data from a country’s citizens.
Leading the way in this effort is the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It includes provisions that
  • Expand the definition of “personal information.”
  • Grant EU individuals numerous rights.
  • Regulate how organizations manage personal data.
  • Separate the responsibility of data controller and data processor.
  • Create the business role of “Data Protection Officer.”
  • Establish requirements for breach notification and mitigation.
  • Impose fines for violators.

Global Transfer of Information

So why do global privacy laws matter? Well, as a global organization, we do business around the world.

We can’t impose privacy laws in other regions, so we need to work within the frameworks created by the countries where we collect and handle personal information.

That means if we process information from a person in Sweden, we have to respect Sweden’s privacy laws. And if we’re collecting information on a customer in Brazil, we have to respect Brazil’s privacy laws … you get the idea.

Failing to follow these laws exposes us to big fines or penalties, and undermines the trust of our customers

Take the time to know the laws and regulations of our global business partners and customers, and abide by them as if they were the laws of our country.

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