What is Data Regulation and How Do I Make Sure My Data is Compliant?

April 4, 2023
July 18, 2023

How many times have we all checked the, “Agree to Terms and Services,” box without even thinking what that means, or signed a 4-page document at the doctor’s office, without thoroughly reading it through? As consumers, we share our personal information with organizations, trusting them to keep it private.  As professionals, how do we honor our customers’ and clients’ trust by managing their data in way that keeps it safe from unauthorized access?

Data regulation refers to the actions taken by governments to monitor the use, security, and transmission of personal private data, in other words data regulation is data protection. If you are new or unfamiliar with these regulations, this article is a good intro into how data regulation is defined in specific countries, states, and industries so you can identify how data privacy laws affect your organization.

For those of you who may be wondering how to ensure your organization is managing private data responsibly, we explain how leveraging Master Data Management (MDM) can help your organization regulate the storage and usage of your data.

What is Data Regulation?

With the increase in private information being stored in cloud-like services, and bad actors exploiting customer data without consent, the European Union (EU) sought to protect the personal data of their people by passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) The GDPR is Europe’s strict and extensive data privacy law which established organizational requirements to collect and store consumer data securely and transparently. Being the first comprehensive data privacy law of its kind, the GDPR is an international pioneer in data protection.

The EU enforces compliance upon all organizations, operating within EU countries, selling goods or services to EU citizens, and that monitor the behavior of data, where failure to comply can result in monetary penalties.

Data Regulation in the U.S.

At this time, the U.S. does not have a federal law that applies to the comprehensive protection of all consumer data, however, they have taken action to regulate data privacy on an industry specific level. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established regulations to protect consumer data within specific sectors, including Healthcare, Financial, and Federal.  

Data Regulation Across Industries

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects, “sensitive patient healthcare information.” This is enforced using specific regulations for the process in which healthcare providers log and disclose private patient information.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) concerns matters of the financial industry. The GLBA holds fiduciaries to a high standard of protecting, “the confidentiality of their consumers’ non-public personal information.”

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is a law which requires federal agencies to comply with specific processing of information safety.

Other notable sector specific data privacy laws include, The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which monitors the collection of information related to minors, The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA,) which ensures the safe collection and use of credit information, and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA,) which secures the privacy of student records.

Data Regulation Across the States

In addition to the FTC’s efforts to protect consumer data in specific sectors, several U.S. States have taken matters into their own hands by establishing laws to protect the private information of their residents. Although there is technically no U.S. equivalent to the GDPR, many would consider The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to be the most comparable. In addition to enforcing data privacy requirements on organizations like the GDPR, the CCPA also gives consumers the right to control what information they choose to disclose. Under the CCPA, California residents have the right to know what information a business collects, the right to delete information (with exceptions) they do not want to share, the right to deny the selling or sharing of their personal information and the right to non-discrimination for exercising these rights.

Only 4 states have followed California’s lead by enacting comprehensive data privacy laws: Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia. However, every state does have some sort of legislation geared towards protecting personal data.

Massachusetts and New York each require organizations to implement a formal security program which complies with a stated definition of “secure.” Distinctively, Illinois imposes privacy requirements only on organizations that collect biometric information and gives consumers the right to sue for infractions.

For Hoosiers (our headquarters), the Indiana senate passed a bill similar to the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act in February 2022. If passed, this law would go into effect in January of 2025. However, there are few organizations who only do business in their own state, so if you want to work on a national or international scale, you need to be compliant with the strictest of regulations.

How to Ensure Compliance with Your Data

Because the United States does not have regulations in place to protect consumer data, (outside of the specific sectors,) the responsibility of protecting private client information falls upon each individual organization.

There are several measures you can implement to prevent the risk of a data breach, including strong cybersecurity, restricting access to private information and a holistic data strategy.  While all of this can help to keep your data safer, human error is inevitable and even a well curated data strategy leaves room for breaches. Master Data Management (MDM) regulates and monitors data to automatically identify inconsistencies, errors, and unauthorized access, making it the most effective way to assure your consumer and internal information is protected.

Data stored in various, separate systems cannot be compared, easily managed, or fully protected. MDM can bring this data into one common source of truth, providing you with a 360-degree view of all your organization’s information. By analyzing your data through a single source, MDM can easily identify errors and duplicates, ensuring accuracy, quality, and cohesive formatting. Additionally, MDM manages who can access your data, by allowing only authorized personnel to obtain restricted information and notifying admin when private data is shared.

Onebridge helps our clients navigate the complexities of master data management.  We partner with industry leaders like Profisee to help our clients establish an MDM strategy that is automated and monitored.  Profisee can help your company regulate your data by identifying patterns and anomalies in your information, providing you with real time alerts so you can trust your data is reliable and protected.

Creating a safe and organized environment for your data is crucial in ensuring your organization’s private information is protected. To learn how Onebridge can help you operationalize master data management to secure and leverage your data, Contact Us here.

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