July 5, 2022

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4 Data Privacy Laws across the World

5 min read
Data Privacy Laws

Data Privacy Laws

Data privacy and protection is more important than ever these days. Even the largest companies in the world are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.But, countries are taking steps to protect customer data as well. These steps include introducing strict data privacy laws.

Not every country has the same laws. So, it’s interesting to learn how these laws differ across regions. Let’s explore four data privacy laws across the world, shall we?

1. HIPAA – U.S.A.

The U.S. has many data privacy laws across various states and sectors. As of now, 4 states have comprehensive data privacy laws. These states are Utah, Virginia, Colorado, and California. All the data laws in these states address the consumer’s right to privacy.

These laws also outline the responsibilities of businesses about consumer privacy. Consumers have the right to know how companies are using their data under these laws.

In some sectors like the medical sector, there are special laws. You’ll find the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) among these laws.

HIPAA compliance is for medical privacy and patient access. But, most states across the country have their medical laws too.HIPAA laws have better safeguards for consumer privacy than state laws. So, these laws take precedence over local regulations.

But, if there isn’t a HIPAA law available, organizations can follow a state law instead. In this way, the government ensures it covers all areas of data privacy. In some cases, state laws have more specific provisions for medical data privacy. These provisions cover consent procedures and authorization. States law takes precedence over HIPAA law where the former is more stringent. But, it’s not easy to determine which kinds of laws are stricter.

You’d need to look at factors like timeframes and monetary fines to determine the same. The same goes for specific provisions on patient rights.

For instance, New York has strict laws about protecting patient data. These laws allow patients greater control over who can access their information. So, they’re stricter than HIPAA laws. But, HIPAA laws have more to do with technology as congress introduced them recently.

It makes more sense to focus on them for digital data privacy.

2. CPAA – Canada

Canada introduced the Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) in 2020 for personal information protection. This law allows Canadian residents control over the distribution of their personal information.

Canada has a Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The CCPA amends this law and gives individuals the right to private action. This right allows consumers to take serious action against non-compliant companies. Also, the law covers personal information from all individuals, living or deceased.

It covers basic personal information like name, age, ethnicity, income, etc. But, it stands out because it covers other personal information too. The CCPA applies to organizations that gather and share personal information. These companies use personal information for commercial purposes.

Companies often collect personal information from job candidates. They share this information with other employers too. But, they don’t always get consent from candidates before sharing such information. The CPPA seeks to curb the same.

Companies need to get consent from individuals before gathering their data under this law. The same goes for processing and disclosing this information.

3. LGPD – Brazil

The Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD) is a law for protecting personal data. This law applies to all sectors online and offline. The extraterritorial reach of this law allows it a wider scope than most similar laws. Brazilian residents can even protect their information from foreign companies under the LGPD.

The law covers all data about an individual’s personal information. The LGPD sets down limitations for the collection of information for various purposes. These purposes include research studies, judicial proceedings, and more. 

So, individuals can prevent companies from collecting their information in different situations. The consent needed from individuals under this law should be unambiguous. This makes it hard for companies to find loopholes and collect data without consent.

There are 10 principles of data processing under the LGPD. These principles include transparency, adequacy, and security. The LGPD also specifies that companies need data consent for marketing and sales.

4. PDPA – Singapore

Singaporean Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) has strict rules on off-shore data sharing. The law first came into effect in 2014. But, it saw some amendments in 2020 that made it one of the toughest data protection laws in Southern Asia.

Online and offline companies need to have lawful data collection processes. Companies cannot disclose personal data from individuals without their consent. Every local and offshore company having Singapore residents’ data must follow this law. But, the law has exceptions.

It exempts individuals from using personal data for private purposes. It also exempts government organizations.

These organizations have separate privacy rules for data collection and sharing. The same goes for public organizations. Private information has a broader scope under the PDPA than it does under any other privacy laws. It covers names, phone numbers, age, gender, etc.

The law also covers data collection about religious and political views. There are two types of consent under the PDPA. These are affirmative and deemed consent. Affirmative consent needs an individual to opt into sharing information.

Deemed consent needs an individual to opt-out of sharing information. Visitors have the right to withdraw their consent at any time under this law. Users also have the right to correct any errors in their private information. Companies can only use data for the purposes for which they collected it.

They would have to delete the data after they fulfill this purpose. So, the law protects the distribution of data to third parties too.

Conclusion

The data privacy laws covered above differ from each other in some ways. But, they have some features in common too. For instance, some laws cover data protection for foreign companies using resident data. These laws protect individuals from data theft and unlawful distribution.

Also, it helps that these laws came about recently. Several countries had data privacy laws before. But, they amended these laws in the last decade. Amendments were necessary because of the increase in online activity off late. Individuals now spend more time online than they ever did before.

This makes their data vulnerable to non-consensual sharing. The laws put in place by countries around the world seek to prevent the same.