Freedom of Data Security: Know the Rights of your Consumers

Data security rights for consumers has been a hot topic in 2018. This year marked a major change in how businesses conduct themselves regarding the privacy of their consumers. Prior to and upon the arrival of the GDPR, businesses scrambled to make sure their privacy policies were spelled out clearly and left nothing up to interpretation.

The massive fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal with Facebook made it abundantly clear how heavy the responsibility for preserving consumer privacy can be. When the appropriate measures are not taken, it can lead to a lot of trouble. Trust is difficult to gain but incredibly easy to lose quickly, which is why transparency regarding your consumer’s private data is critical to your organization’s success. You also need to understand their personal data rights to be able to handle their information responsibly. 

Data Security What’s and Who’s

What information needs to be protected by data security measures, and who is responsible for it? Personal data can include just about anything, and it’s handled by more people than may be realized. 


From something as simple as your name or email address to the digits of your social security number, bank account, and driver’s license, your personal data can be accessed in multiple places. Online, in-person and over the phone, these are the some of the most common areas of info that come to mind in terms of data security. However, it goes beyond that. Other data includes information that can be found in government records, social posts or online profiles, such as your political views, gender identification, health and criminal records, and photos.


Data security laws and policies are getting stricter, which means that every organization bound to them has to make sure they stay compliant. Fresh from GDPR, data security laws apply to all organizations that operate in the EU, and those who process or control data for EU inhabitants. This does not require the organization to live within the EU. Some examples of groups or individuals who hold responsibility for your data are:

  • Website owners
  • Data analytics firms
  • An employer
  • A non-profit or charity
  • Public bodies such as government departments

As a business or organization like these, you need to be prepared and understand the rights that your customers have regarding their personal data. Ignorance and assumptions about what is and isn’t permitted can lead to headache-inducing and costly side effects for you. Here’s a breakdown of your consumer’s data security rights.

Consumer Data Security Rights

Any companies dealing with personal data are responsible for protecting it and handling it ethically. They are required to establish specific and legitimate circumstances for collecting and using data and demonstrating that their use is for that purpose for only as long as necessary. They are also responsible for being transparent with whomever’s data is being processed, and ensure that every measure is taken against data security threats.

Regarding the GDPR requirements for data, organizations must be able to provide proof to consumers upon request of “legitimate basis” when collecting, storing and using personal data. Every consumer under GDPR has following rights concerning their personal data:

  • The right to be informed regarding the information being used, how it’s used and for how long.
  • The right to access their data.
  • The right to limit the amount of access an organization has to their data.
  • The right to correct data content if it’s incorrect.
  • The right to have their data erased after there is no longer a legitimate basis to use it.
  • The right to share their personal data with other organizations.
  • The right to raise objections about the use of their data.

The EMPIST Effect

EMPIST takes the security of personal data seriously, and we know you do too. If you want to keep the trust of your customers you need IT solutions you can trust, not to mention a reliable IT partner. We stay on top of your networks 24/7/365 and provide secure cloud services so you can remain worry-free on and off the clock. With the right team and measures in place, your customer’s trust in you will be as secure as their personal data.

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