Understanding Data Security in the Privacy Age

In today's business landscape, protecting data privacy has become paramount. This is especially true as the collection of personal information about individuals and customers continues to grow exponentially.

Paul Smith

Head of Quality & Compliance

In today’s business landscape, protecting data privacy has become paramount. This is especially true as the collection of personal information about individuals and customers continues to grow exponentially. As businesses increasingly rely on digital technologies, storing and utilizing vast amounts of personal data – including names, addresses, email addresses, and even sensitive financial and medical records – has become commonplace. While this data is valuable for businesses, it also poses substantial risks to individuals’ privacy and security.

Failure to comply with data privacy laws and regulations can result in severe legal and financial repercussions, including substantial fines and damage to a company’s reputation. Noncompliance has the potential to erode customer trust and loyalty, ultimately harming a business’s long-term viability.

A 2021 survey by KPMG revealed that 86% of consumers harbor growing concerns about data privacy, with 78% expressing apprehensions about the volume of data being collected. A significant portion (40%) lacks trust in companies to use their data ethically, and a notable 13% don’t even trust their employers.

Against a backdrop of frequent data breaches and privacy violations making headlines, there is a rising public demand for more robust data privacy protections. Governments and regulatory bodies have responded to this challenge by enacting various laws, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, in the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Hefty US fines

Recent years have seen high-profile data privacy breaches leading to hefty fines for companies in the United States. For instance:

  • Facebook (now Meta) faced a $725 million penalty for mishandling user data.
  • Equifax was fined $700 million for a 2017 data breach affecting 147 million people.
  • Epic Games incurred a $520 million penalty for privacy-invasive default settings.
  • T-Mobile faced a $500 million fine for a 2021 data breach caused by a cyberattack.

This year, several states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia, are set to enforce new GDPR-inspired statutes, following California’s lead. This signals a heightened focus on data protection, with more states likely to follow suit.

U.S. regulators are demonstrating a strong stance, being prepared to issue substantial fines to businesses failing to protect customer data. The Federal Trade Commission’s proposal to ban Meta from profiting from kids’ data emphasizes the stringent approach regulators are adopting.

It is crucial for businesses to prioritize data privacy compliance in order to protect their customers’ personal data and avoid facing legal and financial penalties. This can be achieved by implementing processes and policies that carefully safeguard collected data in accordance with relevant guidelines. These measures showcase a dedication to respecting privacy rights, building trust with customers, and reducing the risk of costly legal actions.

A Reliable Partner

Choosing the right partner for Human Capital Management (HCM) needs becomes pivotal, and GT Clocks stands out by providing secure and scalable methods for collecting workforce data. This ensures accurate real-time data for HCM partners, allowing them to focus on delivering top-notch HCM solutions.

One notable example is the issue of ‘Buddy Punching,’ which can constitute 2.2% of total payroll costs. Biometric solutions, such as GT Connect, help eliminate this practice. Amidst the evolving data protection landscape, GT Connect protects businesses, ensuring compliance with privacy-enhancing technology and enforcing processes around consent, retention, and deletion of required biometric data.

Your business can capitalize on the savings while maintaining the lowest possible risk. The greater use of biometric technology and the protection of the data it creates is a trend that we anticipate will accelerate in the near- and medium term as solutions like GT Connect demonstrate a significant decline in fraud and proven ROI.

The security of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) has never been more critical and is a crucial consideration for organizations of all sizes. Biometric security legislation is being rapidly adopted, often as part of existing laws such as GDPR and CCPA, meaning companies must ensure their strategic security plans account for the capture, processing, and storage of PII.

As biometric technology gains more traction and the protection of associated data becomes increasingly critical, GT Clocks’ GT Connect solution ensures the secure and automatic management, distribution, and backup of biometric and personal data across networked devices. Find out more about this solution.