What Is Data Processing and How Does it Affect Consumers’ Privacy Rights?

Tally Netzer

Tally Netzer

Product Marketing Manager, K2View

We often think of legislation as a slow and tedious process, believing that it takes time to implement even the slightest changes. Perhaps that’s why the pace of data privacy regulation updates feels so extraordinary. Many companies were still learning the ins and outs of CCPA when Prop. 24 passed in November. Blink twice, and you’ll discover new rules to follow. In this article, we’ll discuss the common logic behind different data privacy regulations, the effect on companies’ data processing efforts, and what we can expect to see in the near future.  

New day, new rules

New regulations have an immediate and direct impact on Compliance Officers’ work. Laws deeply influence the processes they’re responsible for, the tools they use, and everything in between. Failing to keep up might lead to fines and cause damage to the company’s business reputation.

 Businesses are often overwhelmed by the rapid changes in the data privacy arena. Compliance teams state that keeping up with regulatory change is their biggest concern. That’s because significant changes require significant adjustments. For example, a Deloitte survey conducted shortly after GDPR went into effect found that 70% of organizations had to hire additional staff to deal with the new law.

Different regulations offer a similar concept

 But while there are many regulations to comply with, different privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD all share a certain logic. Data privacy regulations worldwide send a unified message to companies, demanding lawful data processing procedures that protect consumers’ privacy. Here are the main concepts you’re likely to find in every privacy-focused legislation: 

  • Establishing the right to data privacy: While this is the least practical part of privacy regulations, it might actually be the most important. Establishing data privacy as a protectable right is what gives meaning to laws in the field. 
  • Defining users’ right to know: The first practical result of establishing the right to data privacy is letting users know what information each company collects. Some laws force an opt-in mechanism that requires consumers’ consent to collect data to begin with. Many laws enable users to ask for detailed reports of their collected data. 
  • Protecting users’ data management rights: After receiving the above information, regulations often enable users to manage the data collected by businesses by asking for it to be deleted in parts or in whole. Users may also choose to change data permissions at any time and for any reason. 

So, what does lawful data processing include?  

Lawful data processing turns the above concepts into reality by offering the followings: 

  • Ownership: Lawful companies practice data processing while keeping in mind that the information does not belong to the company. Every decision to collect or share user information is based on this logic, and companies must demonstrate a specific purpose for collecting and keeping this data. 
  • Access: Companies should offer users fast and simple access to their information and ensure that the data is presented in a clear manner. 
  • Management: Lawful businesses should explain to users how to participate in the data management process. They build a system that receives and follows consumers’ requests while keeping them informed and updated. 

The future of lawful data processing 

It’s safe to assume that more updates and rules will join the data privacy party soon, as the awareness around this topic continues to rise. The accelerated transition to digital services during the Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to the importance and urgency of protecting users’ information. 

According to Gartner, privacy regulations will cover 65% of the world’s population by 2023. This prediction makes perfect sense with more than 60 jurisdictions implementing privacy laws since GDPR was first introduced. Consumers are more aware and sophisticated, moving from asking simple questions like “what is data processing?” to actively managing their online entities.

We can also predict that future laws will give companies a shorter response time and demand that users will be able to access and manage their data immediately. In a world that values privacy and personalization more and more, companies will be required to treat users as individuals in the way they gather and manage their information. The companies that will tend to the person behind all that data will find it easier to adjust to any new regulation coming their way.

While current conditions and future predictions may seem complicated, businesses are lucky to have great experts and technology tools by their side. To learn more about K2View’s data privacy compliance management software, schedule your demo right here.