Data Privacy vs. Data Protection: What’s the Difference?

Ever hear the expression, “I don’t make the rules; I only enforce them”? It operates on the premise that two separate entities work in tandem to achieve the same desired result. We’ve seen it a hundred times:

The policeman doesn’t write the traffic laws; he just gives you the ticket.
The referee doesn’t write the hockey rules; she just puts you in the penalty box.

Here’s the point: when it comes to data privacy and data protection, the relationship is exactly the same.

Data privacy is the list of rules and regulations—the policies and procedures that govern what we can and cannot do with data. Data privacy makes up the traffic laws, the hockey rules. Data privacy says, “You can do this; you can’t do that.”

Data protection is the policeman, the referee. Data protection is put in place to enforce the law of the land. Data protection says, “You did what you shouldn’t, and now you’re going to pay the price.”

Why does this matter? According to a recent article by the Forbes Technology Council, understanding the distinction between data privacy and data protection is key to defending your data. And at Lume Strategies, we’re all about helping you keep your business networks safe and secure.

For more insight, here are some other thoughts on the matter from the brain trust at Forbes:

Data Privacy

  • Dictates the control users have over the data they share
  • Helps you manage how your data is used
  • Is usually decided by “experts with backgrounds in law, policy making and some engineering”

Data Protection

  • “Ensures that your data is safeguarded from unlawful access by unauthorized parties”
  • Protects an organization’s assets by “keeping threats out”
  • “Is mostly a company’s responsibility”

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