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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Principles Of Consumer Data Privacy

Data privacy has become increasingly important in today’s world, and companies are trying to collect as much data from consumers as possible. Corporations collect these personal data to help them strategize their business, to market their products and services, and to track the effectiveness of those ads. While many prefer not to share details about themselves online, technology makes information more public and our privacy less protected.

However, companies must be careful because consumers have a right to privacy. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has strict guidelines that define how companies must treat personal data. For example, it prohibits companies from sharing data without the consumer’s explicit consent. Also, companies cannot use information other than what was initially collected. Here are some of the essential principles of data privacy.

1. Accountability

Accountability means that the organization collecting data is responsible for protecting it. The company must be proactive by implementing policies and procedures to ensure that personal data is safe and confidential. Anytime a third party obtains the information without permission, the organization is responsible for ensuring consumers’ security. These organizations are subject to federal laws enforced by the FTC, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

2. Transparency

Transparency is a vital aspect of the right to privacy. Consumers should know how, where, and who will use their data when giving out personal information. For example, if someone buys a product online, they should understand how the business intends to use the collected purchase information. In addition, corporations must give consumers easy access to information about how to update or remove it. One way to ensure that customers are well informed is to provide disclosures and notices that provide information to the user.

3. Maximizing Participation

Companies must be transparent with their consumers when asking for permission to collect data. The law states that if the company receives consent, it can only use the data to collect information, not for other purposes. If a company wants a person’s data for another reason, it must obtain additional consent from the consumer.

However, it is still important to consider whether there is sufficient disclosure in that request. That is because not all consumers fully understand why they are being asked to give away their personal information. For instance, a website uses cookies to track your internet activity. A cookie is a small file that collects information about consumers and their computer activity, often for marketing purposes. When you allow a website to save a cookie on your computer, you will enable that business to create a profile of your internet activity.

If you visit a website to check the weather daily, that company may send you ads with information about the weather. However, if you want something other than this type of data collection and advertisement, it is important to only allow websites to use cookies necessary for their site functionality. Websites have different information tracking preferences, so ensure you understand the site’s practices for collecting consumer data before clicking the allow button.

4. Collection Limitation

If companies collect data about consumers, they must only gather the bare minimum amount for their intended purpose. Every time a company collects personal information, it must get the consumer’s permission to use it. If companies have doubts about whether a person agrees to allow them to collect data about them, they should ask for explicit consent.

5. Access and Accuracy

Consumers have the right to access any information a company has collected about them. You can also ask for updates to outdated or incorrect data in your profile. If a business agrees to remove your data, it must do so within 30 days of receiving your request. Although, most consumers need to learn how to access their personal information on the Internet. To ensure your data is accurate, you can use a search engine to view all the information your business has collected about you.

6. Integrity

Companies must take great care in keeping data safe and secure, including encrypting any sensitive information they have. You should also be careful if it is easy for them to access your personal information without your permission. For instance, if you use Facebook to chat with friends and family, it is essential to know that you will always access personal information about those people unless they are inactive.


Since cyberspace has become an essential element of modern society, you should keep your data private. That is why it is crucial to be a responsible user of internet technology.