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How to Celebrate International Data Privacy Day

padlock and key with fireworks in the background

Every year, on January 28th, the world of data privacy celebrates the International Data Privacy Day, also known as Data Protection Day.

For businesses working to stay up to date with all the privacy laws and regulations being newly released or updated, this day may be less of a celebration, and more of a daunting reminder of all the steps required to stay relevant in their field, compliant with any data privacy laws applicable, and penalty free.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case. There is no reason why you should not enjoy the day, so to get you started on this road, we’re giving you some data privacy compliance tips and tricks that you can check off your list first thing on Monday. 

  1. Check the cookies' configuration on your website
    If you use cookies for technical reasons, advertisement or gathering analytics you need to consider applicable regulations and whether your cookies are configured in compliance with these. You may be required to notify your users about the placement of the cookies, collect consent for data processing, or provide an opt-out mechanism. 
  2. Make sure you have a privacy policy published on your website 
    Having a written document describing to your users how your business collects, stores and shares personal data is a requirement under most data privacy laws. A policy must include information about the types of personal data collected, purposes of data storage and processing, describe how personal data is shared and with whom, and provide information about what rights your users have concerning their data and how to exercise them. 
  3. Don't forget to update your privacy policy from time to time  
    The privacy policy is a primary source of information about how your business handles personal data. You must regularly review and update your privacy policy to ensure it stays in line with your processes. Some privacy laws, such as CCPA, require businesses to update their policy at least once in 12 months. 
  4. Check which law applies to you 
    Most privacy laws would apply to businesses located in the country or those collecting their citizens' data. It is essential to understand where your users are coming from. Many countries have specific requirements for how personal data should be collected and treated. It is crucial to ensure your business is well aware of those requirements to avoid penalties.  
  5. Document where your data comes from and where it goes 
    Most privacy laws are built around data collecting, storage, sharing and disposal practices. To ensure you stay compliant, you must understand where your data comes from, how it is stored, and with whom you share it. This mapping should be documented to prove your business is compliant.
  6. List your vendors, especially those with whom you share data 
    First, you should inform your users about your partners and vendors in your privacy policy. What is important to remember is that some privacy laws restrict data transfers outside of the country or the region. The best way to keep track of the transfers is to establish a vendor management process, enter into the agreements and get more details before you sign the contract with a new vendor or partner. 
  7. Be ready to share this information with your users 
    Privacy laws provide data owners with rights concerning their data, including a right to access it, object to how the data is shared or sold, and correct inaccurate data or even delete it. This means your business should be ready to recognize and fulfill such requests, including disclosing how you shared data, deleting it from your systems, or ensuring you stop selling the data. To avoid claims and penalties, you should establish internal processes to manage the requests from your users, employees, leads or even partners. 

There are many more things you can do to start off this new year on the right foot, but we believe that the above are a good starting point.