Data privacy

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What Does Data privacy Mean?

Data privacy, also referred to as information privacy, is a strategic goal that seeks to guarantee the confidentiality of confidential and personally identifiable information (PII) stored on computer systems.


An important goal of data privacy is to ensure that data in transit and data at rest are always protected while still allowing the flow of information. VPN services are great tools for ensuring online data privacy.

Legislation, policies and best practices for data privacy cover:

  • Internet privacy (online privacy): All personal data shared over the Internet is subject to privacy issues. Most websites publish a privacy policy that details the website’s intended use of collected online and/or offline collected data.
  • Financial privacy: Financial information is particularly sensitive, because while it is often protected by law, it can easily be used to commit online and/or offline fraud.
  • Medical privacy: All medical records are subject to stringent laws that address user access privileges. By law, security and authentication systems are often required for individuals that process and store medical records.

In the European Union, information privacy may also be referred to as data protection. It is important to note that while data protection policies specify how an organization will collect, share and use confidential and personal information, security policies specify how the data will be protected from internal or external threats.

Techopedia Explains Data privacy

Few elements have become as crucial for businesses as data has in the last few years. Whether it’s international conglomerates like Amazon, Meta, and Apple or a startup, data has proven a vital asset in their path towards growth.

However, access to this data, some of which can be sensitive in nature, has meant that organizations have had to take on several obligations related to protecting this data. Owing to regulations, including GDPR, CPRA, CCPA and The Privacy Act, organizations worldwide have had to take a privacy-centric approach to create a balanced user experience.

This approach aims to maintain the same degree of personalized user experience (UX) visitors have come to expect from most websites without having to compromise their privacy. Naturally, organizations and businesses that can attain that balance stand a much better chance of sustaining and growing their customer base. Privacy Centers are playing an increasing role in helping organizations find that balance.

What is a Privacy Center?

A privacy center as a tool that communicates how an organization will manage data collection, data sharing and data use. The purpose of a privacy center is to educate end users about legal obligations and provide internet users with options for managing confidential and personally identifiable information.

In e-commerce, privacy centers offer businesses the best chance to empower their customers with a greater degree of control over their data and their privacy. This type of center does not take a lot of effort to set up and, if used properly, can help an organization achieve and maintain compliance more effectively.

Privacy Centers for Websites

At its core, a Privacy Center is a centralized page or location on any business’ website that gives users access to all relevant resources related to their data and privacy, such as:

The website’s privacy policy: A website’s privacy policy is of tremendous importance since it is by far the most effective way a website has to communicate how they process users’ data, what mechanisms they deploy, whether they sell or share this data with third parties, what rights users have related to their data, and most importantly, how users can exercise these rights.

The website’s cookie policy: A website’s cookie policy is a web page similar to a privacy policy that contains detailed information about the website’s use of cookies. This extends to what kind of cookies a website uses, what information these cookies collect, and how users can disable certain cookies during their stay on the website.

Terms and Conditions: The terms and conditions page contains information on what terms the website offers its services to users, as well as conditions a user must agree to when using the website.

FAQs: The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page in a privacy center exists to answer some of the questions most likely to be asked by the users. As the name suggests, this page contains contact information, and in some cases, a 24/7 helpline and separate contact information for the website’s data protection officer.

Depending on which data regulations a website is subject to and which region the user is accessing the site, the website may also be obligated to provide a section dedicated to data subject rights (DSR) requests. This is where users can fill out appropriate information to exercise their rights per the regulations they’re subject to. By making it easier for users to locate and use this right, most organizations can take a significant step toward becoming a privacy-centric organization.

Privacy Center Components

As far as the design element of a Privacy Center is concerned, it’s important to note that there is no set formula. Different organizations may choose to design their Privacy Center per their metrics. However, to ensure users can maximize the use of Privacy Centers, it would be highly recommended that it would be:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Visually appealing
  • Easily readable

The easy navigation aspect sets a Privacy Center apart from the traditional Privacy Policies. It breaks down each section individually, giving users easy access to any resources they require from each section.

Privacy Centers For Businesses

Since a data privacy center’s primary purpose is to provide information and convenience, it can be used and deployed by organizations of all scales. Larger organizations may find it extremely helpful in fulfilling certain legal obligations and requirements outlined in privacy legislation.

For organizations such as startups, there may not be any strict regulatory obligations to do so due to the scale of their operations. Still, they may find privacy centers an excellent way to demonstrate their commitment to data protection, win over user trust, and — when the time comes — initiate legal compliance once the business has grown to scale.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.