We discuss the importance of data privacy laws for both merchants and consumers as the Data Breach dilemma reaches all-time highs.
Over half of global consumers (55%) believe that businesses are not doing enough to protect their privacy online. And this number is only going to continue increasing from here on out.
And it’s only right that they believe this. Data breaches are now occurring (and are being reported, because of security breach notification laws) at such a frequent pace that the only thing they can do is to become desensitized to it all.
Of course, to account for this big hole in the online market, almost every country has created its own data privacy laws to regulate this whole mess. And any failure to adhere to these data privacy laws usually results in fines, lawsuits, and even suspension of their payment collection accounts for merchants. But that hasn’t done away with the problem entirely.
So, it’s a big deal. Making it all the more important for you to know (whether you’re the consumer or the merchant) how to navigate through these laws and regulations and secure either your safety or the safety of your customers.
What Are Consumer Rights? | Basic Rights
Trying to go over all the many different laws (and the nuances between them) is exhausting in one sitting. There are just too many out there and listing all the different details is most likely only going to lead to more confusion. And so, we’ve consolidated some of the more basic structures of the many different consumer rights to helpfully ease your understanding:
- The Right to be Informed: Consent is an important factor in all of this. And, in order for the data subject to be able to give explicit and unambiguous consent, they need to be informed about the data collection process and how their data will be used.
- The Right to Erase: Should they desire, data subjects have the right to request that their data be erased. (They also have the right to restrict or suppress access to their data — allowing the data to be stored by the business but not used without their explicit consent.)
- The Right to Opt-Out: Data subjects have the right to opt-out and prohibit the use of their data for certain purposes (i.e., marketing, sales, and other non-service-related purposes). Although, it should be noted that there are usually restrictions to this right (based on certain factors being met by the merchant.)
- The Right to be Heard: This right is a promise from the government to hear any complaints the data subject may have in the form of a formally written complaint.
These basic rights don’t cover everything. Some laws will have very specific stipulations that are difficult to pin to one category. And, of course, new laws are being created as we speak as the struggle to play catch up with modern advancements continues, but it’s a good place to start.
The Importance of Privacy Laws & Regulation
The way things stand now? No one is immune to the possibility of having a serious data problem.
This is widely acknowledged by many experts in the merchant services industry. Jed Morley, as an example, the CEO of the well-respected payment processing company, Platinum Payment Systems (PLATPAY), was recently quoted saying: “Don’t fall into the trap of complacency… In today’s economy, fraud is rampant, and there are hackers everywhere looking to steal your data, your identity, and your good reputation. And just because you’re covered for now doesn’t mean that you always will be.”
And so, no matter what side of the fence you fall (whether you’re the one collecting the data or the one giving the data), you need to be aware of your rights and well-informed of the methods available to you when it comes to securing your interests. It really isn’t that hard, after all! For consumers, the biggest thing that they have to worry about is staying informed of their rights. And as for merchants? Well, there’s plenty of available infrastructures out there to help them (point being, merchant services providers like the aforementioned PLATPAY, are usually very helpful in this regard — they, after all, have years of experience working in the industry and they know how to keep things working.)